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LOS ANGELES-The Athena Group of New York City has acquired the 105-unit Beverly Plaza apartments near Beverly Hills for $33.3 million and plans to convert the property to condominiums, according to Moran & Co. The property, which Athena bought from the locally based R.W. Selby Co., is at 141 S. Clark Dr.

The sale was brokered by Mary Ann King, president, and Scott Davis, partner in the Costa Mesa office of Chicago-based Moran & Co. Davis tells GlobeSt.com that the units at Beverly Plaza have recently been renovated and that it has an approved condo tract map from the city. “Plus, it has little to no competition because of its infill location and because of the city’s difficult entitlement process,” Davis says.

The location of Beverly Plaza, within a block of both Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, places it among high-wage entertainment-related employers, upscale retailers and high-end multifamily properties. Kenneth Weiss, EVP of the Athena Group, notes that a large number of law firms, investment houses and entertainment companies account for much of the surrounding office space.

The area is also known for its shops, chic restaurants, and entertainment venues, namely along Robertson and Beverly boulevards. The popularity of the area and high barriers to entry in have pushed average home prices to $1.7 million within one mile of the complex, so Beverly Plaza’s reasonably priced condominium units “will be a welcome change for buyers” in an area where the median income is about $110,000, Weiss adds.

Weiss says that he expects Beverly Plaza to attract doctors and other medical practitioners from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, located one block from the community. The property is one of the few condo conversions of this scale that Los Angeles has allowed in recent years, in an increasingly difficult entitlement environment. Recent changes within the city have further tightened the condo conversion rules.

King notes that, in most cases, future condominium conversions will not be approved by the city unless the property meets the strict condo parking requirements. The subsequent reduced supply of new conversions in the city will enable the new owners of Beverly Plaza to offer “entry-level homes in a supply-constrained environment,” King says.

Beverly Plaza comprises three buildings atop a two-level parking garage with 160 spaces. The 105 units consist of 16 studios, 38 one-bedroom units, 30 one-bedroom plus den units and 21 two-bedroom units. Sizes range from 510 sf to 959 sf.

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