Marino PR

  • COMMERCIAL OBSERVER: Markwood’s Aftalion Dreams of a More Urban Future for LA

    Parking garages might not be the sexiest real estate assets out there, but Simon Aftalion has found a way to make them a hot topic.

    Aftalion is the development director at Markwood Enterprises, a boutique developer with a crop of mostly residential developments across Los Angeles. Aftalion joined the firm in 2014 to help grow the company’s development arm, and is helping introduce automated parking to Los Angeles while revamping a historic downtown L.A. parking garage.

    Markwood has projects in several changing corridors, including a 53-unit residential building on Barrington Avenue in Brentwood and a mixed-use development on the corner of La Brea and Melrose Boulevards. Aftalion is a strong proponent of adding more density in a city known for its suburban sprawl. For Los Angeles to be the city of the future, it will need to find ways to build urban nodes that offer the 24-hour lifestyle that other cities offer, Aftalion said.

    A key way to increase density is to find more efficient parking solutions, and Markwood has been a pioneer in introducing automated parking. At the moment, Markwood has three projects under construction with plans for either fully or semi-automated parking, including the Barrington development, and two more in the Mid-Wilshire area.

    Commercial Observer sat down with Aftalion to discuss Markwood’s projects, puzzle-shift parking, and the path to a denser, more urban Los Angeles. The following is an edited version of the conversation.

    Give us some background on Markwood.

    Markwood was established as a real estate investment company. The two principals, James and Robert Mehdizadeh, who are from New York, planted their flag around 2010 and 2011. They started selling some of their assets in New York and exchanging the money and buying some properties in LA, with the intention of having a firm that owned and operated real estate in LA.

    Soon, it became clear that there was a lot of opportunity being left on the table.

    They brought in a gentleman called David Wright, to help them create a development business. I joined about a year after that. I recognized the exponential growth, and the opportunity to create and implement ways to make us into a development arm.

    How did you get started in the business?

    I was born in San Francisco, moved to L.A. when I was six, lived there all my life, then went to Georgetown for grad school.

    Leaving L.A. during the recession, it was a very different place when I came back. When I lived on the East Coast I saw how people were really embracing the live-work lifestyle, to live how they work, because it’s such an urban setting.

    On a national level we’ve embraced that sort of lifestyle, and Los Angeles is really starting to see a change in the approach developers take to creating the urban fabric in LA.

    Most of your projects are residential. Why did that become your focus?

    Our approach is multifamily oriented. We’re apartment guys, I love creating residential communities.

    We also have this historic building in Downtown L.A., which is kind of my baby. It’s a historic building, built in 1927, a beautiful beaux arts building. It was built by the May Company (a nineteenth century department store) which needed refrigeration, so that’s why it’s three floors below grade, and five floors above. This asset was one of the legacy properties and once it came into my lap, I thought of it as the jewel of our pipeline.

    We needed to do an adaptive reuse…It’s just sitting there, it’s a big parking structure.

    The first idea was to add floors and make an apartment community. But eventually we realized that this building called for an office play. To me, creative office, or co-working is kind of like an apartment community, in that it’s small cubes with amenities et cetera. We decided to add a sixth or seventh floor for office, keep the parking and redo the retail, but instead of little stores, put in one contiguous tenant.

    As developers, we are in the business of developing, and real estate is our proxy. At this point in the trajectory of development, we’re thinking about what service we’re providing. To me, commercial and residential have become very similar.

    Tell me more about the garage. It’s been reported that you’re going to have an Erewhon market as the retail tenant?

    Actually, we came to a mutual, amicable decision to part ways because the trajectory of the place being delivered was a year-and-a-half out, so we came to a decision not to do the lease.

    I love [Erewhon] and I love their concept. We’re focused on the development of the whole 220,000 square feet. It’s not the type of play that allows for a retail tenant to move in immediately.

    Is there a specific type of retail tenant that you’d like to see in that space, as well as in your retail spaces at your residential properties, at Barrington and La Brea?

    At Barrington, that was my first development, we have a retail space. And yes, its an amenity to what’s above it, but it’s also an amenity for the neighborhood.

    Catty corner across from Barringon, Jeff Appel is building a Whole Foods. As much as his retail is an amenity for us, our retail is an amenity for him. While they’re not giving you cash flow, they’re impacting your cash flow.

    All I’m focused on is making sure that the retail tenants are the best they could possibly be, have great access to parking, and are separate from the other uses on the site. It’s not like we have big box malls, it’s a small retail jewel and it should fit into the neighborhood, and be complementary to the other uses on the site.

    In three of your residential projects you have automated parking. Tell me how that came to be.

    James and Robert acquired this assemblage at Barrington. We wouldn’t buy it today because it has so many obstacles. Because of the city’s zoning laws, our nice beautiful 16,000 square-foot-site became 13,000 square feet.

    And in L.A. if you can’t park it you can’t build it. Building a ramp just wasn’t possible; it was not an option to do conventional parking. So I started thinking about alternatives.

    I had an obsession with shipping containers and how they move things around at the port. I started to dive deep into what is automated parking — it’s a storage facility essentially, a real estate asset which takes your car and racks and rails it. I went to China and went on a tour of parking. I was recently in Japan. They don’t have ramps, I would just sit for 20 minutes and watch people walk in and out, ask for their cars, wait while talking and using their phones. It was great.

    Wow, you really did your homework.

    The way it works is that people drive into a bay, they leave their cars and swipe a fob or ticket. Lasers check that there are no people inside.

    L.A. looks at it as storage so all of the sudden your efficiency is through the roof. On top of that you are able to have a ground floor that doesn’t have a huge ramp going through it, so we gained back 10,000 square feet of space that we made into live work units.

    Also, this means that once autonomous vehicles pick up and parking is not as necessary, each of these pallets can become storage, and we can rent them out, and all of a sudden we have a new cash flow.

    At Barrington the system is fully automated, but I also learned about  a simpler system, a stacker system, a grid, called a puzzle shift, kind of like Tetris. In our smaller communities which cannot afford the fully automated play, we’re using the puzzle shift system to make it parkable, and therefore buildable.

    Is the city amenable to these systems, or is it hard to get approval under the current zoning and building laws?

    Every new system, every novel idea in the building department, requires LARR (Los Angeles Research Reports). The challenge is that each site is a little different, every automated system needs its own LARR certification, and that can happen throughout the course of construction. You have to make sure you’re tracking the process and you’re going to get the certificate. There is a handful of projects who have gone through the process and have obtained the LARR.

    Why are you such a proponent of these automated systems?

    The blurring of the lines between live and work is not L.A.-specific. It’s specific to our time. And L.A. happens to be a city that became a true city during the height of romanticism with the urban sprawl.

    Our zoning is not made for density and celebration of the urban core. So the challenge is how do you create these live-work environments in areas of low density?

    The good news is that the city, I think, really wants L.A. to become its own version of an urban centric city, with multiple nodes of density around transit. They really want to march towards that.

    We have new legislation that upzoned a lot of areas across L.A. near public transportation. That was a sign from the city that if you can work with us, we’ll work with you. We have a huge housing issue in L.A. We have a deficit of 500,000 homes, so we need to build homes.

    I’m very confident that over the next ten years we’re going to become more urban — with a mix of office and multifamily.

    What’s next for Markwood?

    When we created Markwood we identified the fact that we weren’t going to only be able to do sexy commercial corner sites. We identified that we need to have different investment vehicles, you need a bread and butter play.

    That’s why I looked at sites in medium density zones; a lot of them have single family homes. If you employ density bonus plays, if you’re able to park it, on a small 8,000-square-foot site, now you have an asset type that you can replicate and build across the city. It can be specific to the neighborhood or subcommunity, it becomes a bread and butter play.

    We’re in construction on two projects like this, those are my guinea pigs, and we have all the pieces in place to roll this out on a greater scale. I think this could be L.A.’s version of the row house. It’s an asset type that an institutional firm can get behind, if it’s ten of them. It can also be an asset that you sell to one person, it’s a very open-ended play, who you can sell it too, and who can rent it.

    I don’t see these R3 (medium) densities changing that rapidly, but what I do see is the need for people to figure out how to build a proper community with the proper density in these areas.

    Read More>

  • RENTV: Markwood Enterprises to Reposition Downtown L.A. Garage Property

    LA-based Markwood Enterprises has received a $23.1 mil bridge and construction loan for the repositioning of the historic nine-level 900 South Hill Street Garage located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. The financing was arranged by Mark Fisher, Alex Furnary and Val Achtemeier with CBRE’s Capital Markets’ Debt & Structured Finance team.

    Markwood will use the money to construct an additional floor and combine and expanded the ground floor space to accommodate a single tenant, Erewhon, a popular organic market. The top three floors will be re-purposed as creative office space and the balance of space will continue to operate as a garage.

    “We fully intend to maintain this historic structure’s beautiful façade while internally upgrading the building and repurposing it as a modern mixed-use facility,” said David Wright, the project’s manager.

    “This building’s slightly larger construction component makes it what is known in the business as ‘a heavy lift,’ limiting the field of bridge lenders,” said CBRE’s Fisher. “However, as an existing garage that can perpetually generate income and with Erewhon coming in as the new anchor tenant, we believed these factors greatly mitigated the risk.”


  • THE REAL DEAL: Markwood embarks on two multifamily projects

    Markwood Enterprises is underway on two multifamily projects in Larchmont and Mid-Wilshire.

    The Beverly Hills-based firm broke ground on the Dunsmuir Row project at 1233 S. Dunsmuir Avenue and on the Elmwood Row project at 4807 Elmwood Avenue. Dunsmuir Row will have 14 units, while Elmwood Row will include 13, according to Urbanize.

    Both projects will have a mix of townhomes, studio, one-, and two-bedroom units. One unit in each building will be set aside as affordable. They’ll also both feature a CityLift automated parking system, which is designed to maximize parking space.

    R&A Architecture + Design, a firm out of Culver City, designed the two projects. R&A also designed AvalonBay Communities’ 475-unit projectin the Arts District, and a mixed-use project by Faring in West Hollywood.  [Urbanize] — Dennis Lynch


    • New LA Multifamily Developments Implement Tetris-Style Parking System

      Two new multifamily developments in Los Angeles are getting a unique Tetris-style semi-automated parking system that could lead to a shift in how residents park their vehicles. Beverly Hills-based Markwood Enterprises recently broke ground on a 14-unit, 16K SF multifamily property in mid-Wilshire and a 13-unit, 12K SF multifamily development in Larchmont. Each offers one unit for very-low-income tenants.

      Both sites are featuring a two-level subterranean semi-automated puzzle shift parking system developed by CityLift.  “Every developer in LA knows if you can’t park it, you can’t build it,” Markwood Development Director Simon M. Aftalion said. “This enables us to pack in the density in a responsible way. Otherwise we wouldn’t be able to house this many units because we wouldn’t be able to park them.”  Multifamily developments in Los Angeles are required to have two parking spaces for each two-bedroom unit, one and a half spaces for one-bedroom units and one space for studios. But the innovative system by Oakland-based CityLift could start a trend in the city’s multifamily landscape that allows developers to build more density with less space, Aftalion said. The property on 1233 South Dunsmuir in mid-Wilshire will offer 18 parking spots, while the project on 4807 Elmwood Ave. in Larchmont will have 16 parking spaces. The puzzle shift — sometimes referred to as a puzzle lift — system appears as a stacked four-by-two grid. When a resident parks in a reserved spot, the system shifts or slides the vehicle or lifts it into place. The cars can be accessed independently. It takes an average of 30 seconds for a resident to retrieve a vehicle.

      Read More

  • What Will Cause The Next Recession?

    Real estate fundamentals are strong, but the same isn’t true for every industry, and technology could bring down the whole system.

    Real estate leaders overwhelmingly agree that fundamentals are strong, lending hasn’t gotten out of hand and the market is strong—and that means there is no recession on the horizon. But, just because real estate caused the last recession, doesn’t mean that it will cause the next one. At RealShare Southern California last week, some of the speakers hinted that technology companies are at best has some financial troubles and at worst will be the purveyor of the next contraction.

    On the Uncovering Hotspots – Identifying Development Opportunities in Southern California, speaker Simon Aftalion, development director at Markwood Enterprises, said technology would cause the next recession. “I don’t think that our next recession is going to be caused by real estate,” he said. “It is going to be technology, because I think that sector is acting like the real estate market did in the early 2000s.” On an earlier panel focused on capital markets, Michael Klein, co-founder and CEO at Freedom Financial Funds, also suggested that technology companies were having financial problems that could impact real estate owners. He suggested that interest rates might be the catalyst for some issues for those companies.

    The Uncovering Hotspots panel included speakers Bob Sonnenblick, principal at Sonnenblick DevelopmentAdrian Goldstein, founder at CGI StrategiesRick Raymundo, senior managing director of investments at Marcus & Millichap; and John Petrov, president at Baldwin Construction, with moderator Marcus Arredondo, corporate managing director at Savills Studley—and many of them agreed that we were nearing the end of the cycle, even if real estate wouldn’t be its demise. Sonnenblick said, “We are at the bottom of the ninth with two outs. The game is over.” Raymundo echoed the opinion, saying, “The game is over and we are in a rain delay,” adding that a lot—at least for real estate investors—will hang on the outcome of the Costa Hawkins repeal. Petrov was more positive with his outlook, putting the cycle at the 7thinning, but adding no more commentary.

    It was no surprise that the panel of developer’s handful of concerns focused on construction and land costs, but also mentioned the inflated prices driven up by Chinese money. Sonnenblick expects a noticeable fall in pricing now that the Chinese have pulled capital, but we have yet to see that outcome in the market.

    Read more

  • URBANIZE LA: Markwood Breaks Ground on Two Multifamily Residential Developments

    Beverly Hills-based developer Markwood Enterprises has started construction on two multifamily residential buildings in the Larchmont and Mid-Wilshire neighborhoods.

    Dunsmuir Row, a four-story building at 1233 S. Dunsmuir Avenue, will feature 14 residential units in addition to a rooftop amenity deck.  Plans call for a mix of townhomes, studio, one-, and two-bedroom apartments – including one unit of affordable housing.

    The second project – called Elmwood Row – is located at 4807 Elmwood Avenue.  The four-story edifice will feature an additional 13 apartments – including townhomes, studios, one-, and two-bedroom units – of which one will be set aside as affordable housing.

    The two developments will each feature semi-automated parking systems, according to CityLift Parking, with a mechanical system that “maneuvers vehicles in and out of a puzzle-like configuration, akin to a game of Tetris.”  Average retrieval time is 33 seconds.

    Both projects are being designed by R&A Architecture + Design.


  • California Construction News: Erewhon Market to transform historic May Company parking garage in DTLA

    The nine-story structure at Ninth and Hill was constructed in 1927 and designed by local firm Beelman & Curlett, the architect behind Park Plaza Hotel in Westlake and the nearby Garfield Building. It has four levels above ground, and another four underground.

    It was particularly built for customers of May Department Store located at Eight and Hill, where the Broadway Trade Center now stands. It has around 200,000 sq.ft. of floor area, which delivered 400 parking spaces.


  • Is Semi-Automated Parking the Key to Density?

    Some version of automated parking in new developments is going to be integral to both creating density in L.A. and complying with the city’s parking requirements, as they slowly evolve. Automated parking is growing in popularity, but is still seeing slow adoption from real estate owners and developers. That is likely because there is little known about automated parking systems, both functionally and financially. Markwood Enterprises, an L.A. developer, has used fully automated parking systems in prior developments, but recently implemented semi-automated parking systems in two density-bonus developments, Dunsmuir Row in Mid-Wilshire and Elmwood Row in Larchmont.

    “Fully automated parking comes with a pretty price, and that price needs to be amortized over a significant amount of units or a very luxurious, expensive project. The price needs to be absorbed somehow,” Simon M. Aftalion, development director at Markwood, tells “When you have smaller buildings, a fully automated system, which is the most efficient system in this realm of automated parking, doesn’t work. The Row projects are in a medium-density zone utilizing a density bonus, and packing on enough density to make one site pencil with 12 to 15 units. If we could evolve a plan set that really works, we can use that plan set again and again. The question was: how do we park them?”


  • RENTV: Erewhon Inks Lease for 9.5k sf Market at Historic Garage Property in Downtown L.A.

    Erewhon, the natural foods store known for its tonic bar, organic produce and pressed juices, has inked a lease for a 9.5k sf store at 900 South Hill Street in downtown Los Angeles. The market will be Erewhon’s fifth store in California, with other stores located in Beverly Hills, Venice, Calabasas and a recently announced location coming to Santa Monica. Terms of the lease were not disclosed.

    As mentioned in a previous article a few days ago on RENTV, Markwood is moving forward with an adaptive reuse development plan for the 200k sf parking structure, consisting of nine stories – six floors above grade and three floors below-grade. As one of the city’s oldest parking structures, 9th & Hill is at the center of the downtown revitalization efforts given its location in the Historic Core District and its designation as a historical cultural monument. The property currently consists of 10k sf of ground floor retail and 400 parking spaces.


  • Curbed: Fancy Erewhon market is headed to Downtown LA’s South Park

    The ground-floor space of a former May Company parking garage in Downtown Los Angeles is set to be transformed into the future home of a new Erewhon market, says a release from the health-food store chain.

    The high-end store already has locations in Venice, Beverly Hills, and Calabasas.

    Markwood Enterprises, which owns the building, plans to restore the roughly 9,500-square-foot ground-floor space and put the market inside.

    “The original location of the space at Ninth and Hill was built as a drug store, and we’re [excited] to reinvent the building through Erewhon’s focus on healing and preserving the body through natural ingredients,” Tony Antoci, CEO of Erewhon Market, said in a statement.

    The six-story structure was built in 1927 and designed by Beelman & Curlett, the architects of the Park Plaza Hotel in Westlake and Downtown’s Garfield Building. The garage was built so that May Company customers could park close to the store near Eighth and Hill, now known as the Broadway Trade Center.

    The Broadway Trade Center is in the midst of a major renovation and is slated to become a massive mixed-use project that will bring a hotel, a Grand Central Market-style food hall, a private club, multiple bars, and retail to the neighborhood.


  • Curbed LA: Five-story apartment project with automated parking on the way to Sawtelle

    A new five-story residential development is headed for Sawtelle—and it will have a fancy automated parking garage.

    Set to rise on the northwest corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Barrington Avenue, the project will include 53 apartments and six live-work townhomes, along with 1,500 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor.

    Five of the apartments will be set aside for very low-income residents (those making under half the median income in the area).

    Designed by R&A Architecture + Design and developed by Markwood Enterprises, the structure will have a contemporary aesthetic with elements of wood, metal, and glass, along with hanging vines draped from upper level trellises and overhangs.

    Residents will have access to a shared rooftop deck, open-air terrace, central courtyard, and an amenity room.

    The automated parking garage will ferry up to 82 vehicles in and out of a subterranean lot via a computerized shuttle system. The garage will also offer 60 spots for bicycles.

    Plans for the project filed last year indicate that it will take about 13 months to construct and should be ready to open by the end of 2018.

  • RE Business Online: CBRE Secures $23.1M Loan for Mixed-Use Redevelopment in Downtown LA

    LOS ANGELES — CBRE has secured a $23.1 million bridge and construction loan for the repositioning of the nine-story 900 South Hill Street Garage in downtown Los Angeles.

    Mark Fisher and Alex Furnary of CBRE’s New York office, with the assistance of Val Achtemeier of CBRE’s Los Angeles, office secured the loan on behalf of the developer, Los Angeles-based Markwood Enterprises.

    Markwood will construct an additional floor, and combine and expand the ground-floor space to accommodate a single tenant, Erewhon, an organic market. The top three floors will be re-purposed as creative office space and the balance of the property will continue to operate as a garage.


  • Bisnow: This Week’s LA Deal Sheet

    Beverly Hills’ Markwood Enterprises is building a new 45,420 SF mixed-use project that will feature a fully automated parking system
    The project, at 11701 Santa Monica Blvd., will have a five-story residential and retail building, including an amenity rooftop garden space and 53 rental units. Five of the units will be for very-low-income households. The building will also have six live-work townhouses and 1,500 SF of ground-floor commercial space. The automated parking and courtyard-style indoor/outdoor living help set this project apart, according to Markwood Enterprises Development Director Simon Aftalion.  The subterranean parking will include 82 parking spaces and 60 bicycle spaces.


  • Urbanize LA: Apartments with Retail at Santa Monica and Barrington

    A new environmental report offers a first glimpse of a proposed mixed-use development in West Los Angeles.

    Markwood Enterprises, a Beverly Hills-based real estate firm, has proposed the construction of a new residential-retail complex at the northwest corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Barrington Avenue.  Plans filed with the city describe a five-story building that would feature 53 apartments, five of which would be set aside for very low income households.  The project would also offer six live-work units and 1,500 square feet of ground-floor commercial space.

    Other elements of the proposed development include a rooftop deck, a fifth-floor terrace and a ground-level amenity room.  Parking accommodations for 80 vehicles and 55 bicycles would be provided in an automated subterranean garage.



  • Gourmet Retailer: Erewhon to Open in Downtown Los Angeles

    Erewhon Market will open its fifth natural food store at 900 South Hill St. in downtown Los Angeles.

    The 9,500-square-foot store will be on the ground level of a historic building owned by Beverly Hills-based developer Markwood Enterprises.

    Erewhon at 9th & Hill will feature a fully integrated tonic, juice and coffee bar, pizza oven, hot and cold cases, a wide selection of organic, vegan and raw foods, and more.

    “We’re thrilled to be coming to a unique site in downtown LA where the historical landscape of the building blends perfectly with the nature of Erewhon, which has been a pioneer in the health food world since the 1960s,” said Tony Antoci, CEO of Erewhon Market.


  • Connect: Markwood Proceeds with West LA MXU

    Early Bird Alert: Connect Apartments is planned for September 28th in Los Angeles.

    Beverly Hills, CA-based Markwood Enterprises secured entitlements to develop a 45,420-square-foot mixed-use project at 11701 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Los Angeles. Located at Santa Monica Boulevard and South Barrington Avenue, the site will house a five-story residential and retail development, including a 3,047-square-foot rooftop deck garden amenity space and 53 rental units.


  • Globe St.: Boutique Developers Push Boundaries

    Boutique developers are small and nimble enough to push boundaries in ways that larger developers can’t, and as a result, they are playing an integral role in pioneering innovation in new development. Modular housing and technology implementation like automated parking were some of the examples that experts on the Mixed-Use Panel: Successful Designs for Live/Work/Play discussion at RealShare Apartments gave last week. The panel discussion was led by moderator Adam Artunian, VP at John Burns Real Estate ConsultingDaniel Gehman, studio director at Humphreys & Partners, Architects; and Simon Aftalion, development director at Markwood Enterprises.

    “Boutique firms take on new practices with open arms, because we have to, and we are pushing the boundaries in a risk adverse way,” said Aftalion. Gehman agreed, adding that he is seeing more activity from boutique firms. “The exciting thing is that they will look at properties that bigger firms will pass over. They also bring patient capital and legacy properties,” he said on the panel, adding that they have different avenues of getting land sites than larger REITs and institutions and that they try new things that the larger players can’t because they are untested. “The boutique players break new ground, and it eventually gets incorporated into what everyone else is doing,” he said.

    Aftalion’s firm, for example, has incorporated automated parking systems into its development projects to accommodate the parking requirement in a denser footprint. On this particular site, adding a parking structure would have killed the deal. “We looked into other means, and automated parking operators approached us,” he said. “I realized this was the future, and I realized that people would have to embrace some form or automated parking.” The project was a success, and Aftalion believes that the proven success will drive more interest from capital. “I think equity will start getting behind that type of development because it is the only way that you can turn out development,” he said.

    Boutique developers also help to drive density by building on smaller sites that larger developers overlook. “I think boutique could be a boost to the overall affordability of housing,” said Gehman. Aftalion added that large developments are often “entitlement nightmares” and can take years before ground breaking. He believes that you will never grow the housing stock by taking years to build 200-unit projects.

    Aftalion and Gehman are also looking into alternative ways to build sites. “We have been building the same way for 150 years, so there is time for a change,” said Aftalion. One idea is modular projects as a way to expedite development and reduce costs. Gehman says modular can be scaled, much like a hotel development. “We have been looking into modular, and I think eventually we will have a site that works. It is a little tricky, and I think that we are going to get over these hurdles quickly.” Gehman added, “Modular is coming of age. There are rules, so it isn’t there yet.” But, it is coming and there are developers today looking at ways to use modular housing in multifamily.


  • Urbanize LA: Erewhon Market is Coming to DTLA

    The rumor has been floating out there since last summer, but it’s now official: Erewhon Market is coming to Downtown Los Angeles.

    The new store at 9th and HIll Streets – Erewhon’s fifth outpost in California – will be located on the ground floor of a historic property owned by Beverly Hills-based developer Markwood Enterprises.  The approximately 9,500-square-foot market will include a tonic, juice and coffee bar, a pizza oven, and a selection of organic, vegan and raw foods.

    The property, a purpose-built May Company parking structure which dates back to the mid-1920s, spans six floors above ground and three floors below grade, offering 400 total parking spaces and 200,000 square feet of floor area.  Markwood is currently pondering an adaptive reuse development plan for the property.

    In the distant future, the market could be neighbored by a 32-story apartment tower, planned by prominent Downtown landlord Barry Shy.


  • Urbanize LA: Apartments with Retail at Santa Monica and Barrington

    A new environmental report offers a first glimpse of a proposed mixed-use development in West Los Angeles.

    Markwood Enterprises, a Beverly Hills-based real estate firm, has proposed the construction of a new residential-retail complex at the northwest corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Barrington Avenue.  Plans filed with the city describe a five-story building that would feature 53 apartments, five of which would be set aside for very low income households.  The project would also offer six live-work units and 1,500 square feet of ground-floor commercial space.

    Other elements of the proposed development include a rooftop deck, a fifth-floor terrace and a ground-level amenity room.  Parking accommodations for 80 vehicles and 55 bicycles would be provided in an automated subterranean garage.