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SHERMAN OAKS, CA-BW Brody Affiliated has acquired an REO development site here for a project called the Mosaic at 14121-14153 Ventura Blvd. that was originally planned for 88 units and 16,500 square feet of retail and restaurant space. Brody acquired the property from Bank of America for $6.3 million in a transaction that was brokered by Greg Harris and Kevin Green of the Harris Group at Marcus & Millichap.

Greg Brody, managing partner of Sherman Oaks-based BW Brody, tells GlobeSt.com that the company is analyzing the property to determine the best development plan for the site. He says Brody is quite familiar with the site because it is two blocks from Brody’s own offices at the intersection of Van Nuys and Ventura boulevards.

“We’re probably not going to do the exact project that the previous developer planned,” Brody says, but he says that the location offers strong potential for a combination of apartments and retail space.

According to the Harris Group, the fully entitled 75,222-square-foot mixed-use development site “garnered interest from both regional and national developers who were attracted to the prime, dense infill location and strong local demographics.” The previous Mosaic development plan called for two buildings above a subterranean garage, with the 16,500 square feet of retail space to include 6,000 square feet of general retail space and 10,500 square feet of restaurant space.

Brody tells GlobeSt.com that his firm has tracked the 14121-14153 Ventura Blvd. site for some time and tried to acquire it six or seven years ago when it was owned by the University of Southern California, which later sold it to another buyer. “We’ve always thought it was a great development site because it has some very unusual attributes,” Brody says.

“It’s a perfect transit-oriented site,” Brody says. He points out that the property is only five transit stops from the Universal City Metro hub, is situated along busways and is near the 101, 134, 170 and 405, freeways as well as close to the Westfield Fashion Square and the Sherman Oaks Galleria.

As a mixed-use site, the property is unique in that it goes from Ventura Boulevard, which is primarily a commercial street, to Moorpark, which is a residential street, Brody says. “We have the opportunity to put the commercial space on Ventura Boulevard and have the residential oriented toward a residential street–there are very few mixed-use sites that have that potential,” he says.

Brody typically develops and holds its properties for the long term, which is its plan for the Mosaic site, according to Brody. The firm still owns properties that it developed up to 45 years ago, he points out.

Among Brody’s newest developments is a 66-unit apartment project in Toluca Lake called the Metro Art that the company developed several years ago. The company also has a 62-unit apartment project under construction at 11771 Montana Ave. in Brentwood, where it bought a 32-unit complex and razed it to build the new apartments.

The Mosaic project was previously entitled by John Laing Homes Urban, a Culver City-based division of Newport Beach-based John Laing Homes, which filed for bankruptcy early in 2009. The Mosaic was one of several Laing Homes Urban projects that were planned in the Los Angeles area, according to a GlobeSt.com report at the time.

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