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[IMGCAP(1)]WOODLAND HILLS, CA-Developers have closed on two land deals here and in Glendale that are unusual if not unique. One is an REO purchase of a parcel that has traded three times in four years, the other a land swap that settles a dispute between the developer and the City of Glendale.

In the Woodland Hills deal, an Orange County-based developer has acquired an eight-acre multifamily site at 20600 Ventura Blvd. that has sold three times in four years, once for $48 million. In Glendale, Burbank-based Gangi Development Co. will receive‭ ‬2.16‭ ‬acres of surplus city-owned land earmarked for multifamily use in exchange for deeding 18.4‭ ‬acres of hillside woodlands to the city for open space.

[IMGCAP(2)]According to brokers from the Lee & Associates Multihousing Investments Group in Sherman Oaks who represented the buyer of the eight-acre parcel at 20600 Ventura Blvd., the developer plans to re-entitle the parcel, which was entitled for 355 condominium units with 18,000 square feet of retail under a previous owner but was never developed. The name of the buyer was not disclosed, but industry sources tell GlobeSt.com that it was Integral Communities.

Principals Craig Stevens and John Battle of Lee & Associates, who have brokered each of the three sales of the site, say that it’s too soon to tell how many units the new owner will decide to build, but it is likely that the final project will be less than the density first envisioned for the property. The other Lee agents for the latest transaction were principal Jim Fisher and associate Mike Smith. The 20600 Ventura Blvd. property was sold by Bank of America, which was represented by a CB Richard Ellis team headed by vice chairman Sean Deasy of CBRE’s Newport Beach office that included associate Tyler Martin in the Downtown L.A. office and financial analyst Jeff Ober in the company’s Ontario office.

Stevens of Lee & Associates comments that, “I never would have imagined when I sold this site the first time that this would still be an empty parcel of land.” He says that, in 2006 when the property sold, it “promised to be among the very best of the projects in development” because of its location and elevations offering views of Warner Center and the San Fernando Valley.

The price that the latest buyer paid was undisclosed. According to Lee, the property was acquired for $25 million in 2004 by the Troxler Group and Lehman Bros. The Troxler Group guided the property through the development process and completed plans to build 355 entitled condominium units with 18,000 square feet of retail. Troxler sold the property to JPI Development for $48 million in 2007, but the real estate market nose-dived and credit markets froze before JPI could realize its plans, and the property fell into default. The parcel attracted multiple offers in the four months before it sold.

In the Glendale deal between Gangi Development and the city, the city acquires 18.4 acres of undeveloped property southeast of Pennsylvania‭ ‬Avenue at the terminus of Deerpass Road that it plans to keep as open space in perpetuity, while Gangi receives 2.16‭ ‬acres of city-owned land on Pennsylvania Avenue just north of the‭ ‬210‭ ‬Freeway. Robert Gangi,‭ ‬vice president of Gangi Development who worked closely with city officials on the exchange, says that although Gangi‭ ‬receives ownership of a‭ ‬much smaller parcel, it is a developable multifamily residentially zoned site that ‭may be approved by the city for up to ‬23‭ ‬condominium units.

Glendale city attorney Scott Howard said in a prepared statement that, ‭”‬The City and Gangi Development have come together in a creative manner to settle an earlier lawsuit that benefits both parties.” The suit was filed by Gangi, a longtime area developer, after the city rescinded approval for a Gangi project on the Deerpass Road property.

‭Gangi says that his company is exploring various options for development of the Pennsylvania Avenue property, ‬including affordable housing. He says that any project it settles on will have to go through the‭ ‬traditional planning‭ ‬approval process.

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