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Development of the Culver City properties that were formerly owned by the city's Redevelopment Agency -- including Parcel B downtown (9300 Culver Blvd, above) and the Market Hall property at Washington and Centinela -- is on hold into the indeterminate future.
When all California redevelopment agencies were dissolved this February, the Culver City Council accepted the role of redevelopment successor agency and immediately acted to sell the properties to the developers whose proposals for the sites had previously been vetted and accepted by the council. However, there remains significant uncertainty as to whether the state will recognize the agency's ability to do so.
"The biggest concern is that no one is in a position to transfer title to the various properties," says Culver City Times member Kevin Lachoff, who serves as Senior Associate of the commercial real estate firm of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank. "Without title insurance, no lender will lend. And while the developers may be able to build their respective projects without debt, they won’t build, as there is no way to guarantee they will “own” the project if the state ultimately tries to unwind the deal."
This January, after the dissolving of the redevelopment agencies, the Culver City Council (acting as the redevelopment successor agency) approved a Disposition and Development Agreement with Combined Properties Inc. / Hudson Pacific Properties Inc. for Parcel B. Combined Property’s payment was estimated to be approximately $4,022,400, reflecting credits and debits related to construction of expanded restrooms, building modifications in connection with public parking, etc. Combined Properties had agreed to build their proposed design, which included a "grand staircase" feature.
Market Hall at Washington & Centinela
The Culver City Council also approved a commitment letter with Regency Centers Acquisition LLC / Red Barn for the sale of the redevelopment-agency-owned property on the northwest corner of the Washington Boulevard and Centinela Avenue intersection for the development of a Market Hall -- a 33,250-sq.-ft. buidling designed to house specialty retail, artisanal food vendors selling products such as cheeses, charcuterie, baked goods, confections, wine and locally grown produce. The agreement included a land offer of $1,278,950. Regency Centers also provided an additional $1,134,000, which included $684,000 for offsite improvements including neighborhood traffic calming measures and $250,000 for aerial utility relocation related to the 217-space parking garage that the city will erect on the northeast corner of the intersection.
The uncertainty about the future of these properties is expressed in a Globe Street article from May 14 of this year: "At this point, the situation is murky, and investors, developers and financing firms are sitting tight until the agencies finish assessing the projects on their slate. Some will remain state-sponsored projects, others put up for sale, and still others scrapped entirely, but just which projects fall into each category remains to seen."
I've been wondering about this for a while. How disappointing. I really hope these projects don't fall through.
Culver City is on such an upward trend. I'd hate to see this redevelopment stall, especially since the Expo line just opened up.
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