Optimus Properties buys 100 condos in Van Nuys

Optimus Properties has expanded its footprint in Southern California with a multifamily acquisition in Van Nuys.

The Century City, California-based real estate company has bought 100 condominium units at 15425 Sherman Way in a deal worth about $21 million.

The property is part of a larger, 161-unit condominium complex.

The acquisition comes as Optimus has been buying larger assets located near major employment centers in greater Los Angles, such as its recent purchase of a  opens in a new window38-unit apartment building in Old Town Pasadena.

The company pointed to a recent  opens in a new windowNational Multifamily Housing Council report that found that 84% of apartment households made a full or partial rent payment by April 12 during the coronavirus crisis, underscoring Optimus’ feeling that multifamily assets are a secure investment driven by strong employment hubs and rental collections.

Amid the economic disruption caused by the pandemic,  opens in a new windowJoseph Shabani, a principal at Optimus, described the transaction as “a direct result of the team’s ability to both identify value and leverage our relationship with First Republic Bank, to secure an above-average yield in a competitive buyer landscape.”

Shabani added that the property has “institutional quality to its charm, with an array of exit strategies.”

“We were most drawn to the size and resort vibe of the property,” added  opens in a new windowKamyar Shabani, principal at Optimus. “Given the asset’s convenient location to the 405 freeway, in addition to its comparatively low price point for the Southern California region, we believe there is significant upside to the deal in the long-term.”

opens in a new windowKamyar Shabani added that “the asset is well-positioned for investors looking to find security amidst market uncertainty and volatility.”

Optimus Properties’ portfolio includes retail, office, medical office and multi-family properties in California, Washington and New Mexico.

The firm also recently acquired a 20-unit apartment building in Palms on Westwood Blvd., a prime high street-retail asset located in the Golden Triangle of Beverly Hills and has several other projects in the works in Southern California, including a planned 255-unit development in Pico Rivera.

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Optimus Properties optimistic about multifamily even during the recession

In the midst of an economic recession that’s made it hard for some tenants to make rent, Optimus Properties is still snapping up multifamily real estate when it comes onto the market.

The Century City, California-based real estate firm closed on a 100-condo acquisition in Van Nuys  opens in a new windowthis week after entering the Pasadena market with a 38-unit apartment building  opens in a new windowin April.

Principal  opens in a new windowKamyar Shabani, who started Optimus with his brother Joseph in 2007, told me that the company made seven acquisitions in 2019 and hoped “to do something similar” this year, but transactions have slowed “not because our appetite per se but because the number of deals have dropped because sellers are hesitant in an unknown or turbulent market.”

The company, which focuses on value-add acquisitions, found the Van Nuys property to be “an interesting opportunity” because of its size and the grounds “were nice and maintained,” Shabani said. “We liked the location in the Valley,” he added, calling it “somewhat underappreciated or undervalued because the Westside is expensive so people are looking to move to the Valley.”

Similarly, Optimus pounced on the Pasadena apartment building because “you don’t really get a lot of opportunities to buy quality assets in Pasadena.” Again, the firm liked the size and location of the property near Old Town. “We liked the bones, meaning it had a nice courtyard with a pool in the middle [and] landscaping. That was another deal where it needed a little bit of elbow grease to improve the asset, but Pasadena is a known commodity in terms of the city.”

Although stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus crisis have caused a surge in layoffs and furloughs that have made it challenging for some tenants to pay the rent, Shabani estimated that his company is collecting at least part of the rent from multifamily tenants in the mid-80% range.

Optimus, whose portfolio also includes retail, office and medical office properties in California, Washington and New Mexico, is seeing similar rates among its commercial tenants, though in the long run “multifamily is probably doing better with Covid than office and retail,” Shabani said. “The fallout with office and retail will be longer and deeper.”

He added that Optimus is having “daily conversations” with its office and retail tenants about “what their future at the property is, whether they want to stay.” Shabani said that the company is encouraging its commercial clients to stay with rent abatements and deferments. “We’re working with tenants because this is the time to be flexible,” he said.

Long-term, however, “unfortunately there are some retail tenants that are just not going to be able to [survive] this terrible storm,” Shabani added. Meanwhile, among office tenants, he forecasts that some “may start downsizing to allow people to continue to working from home.”

Optimus origins

Multifamily is integral to Optimus’ business. The category makes up the majority of the company’s business, if not square footage or revenues. And the company’s very first deal after Shabani and his brother went into business together was a multifamily property in the Valley.

They both followed in the footsteps of their father, Houshang, who moved the family from Iran in 1978 as political and religious refugees.

“When the Iranian Revolution happened, we came to the U.S., as did a lot of other Persian Jewish people,”  opens in a new windowKamyar Shabani said.

His father started out in the U.S. selling garments, then transitioned into real estate, where he was joined by Shabani’s brother Joseph.

Meanwhile, Kamyar practiced transactional real estate law at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. He wanted to get into the business side of real estate, however, and joined the family business, pushing it toward multifamily as well as syndicating deals.

Kamyar mostly handles multifamily, Joseph mostly commercial, but both are involved in “any major decisions about a deal.”

Optimus now employs 33 people.

“I really love the city of L.A.,” Shabani said, despite the challenges of its spread-out geography, including traffic and homelessness. “I love the mosaic of the city in terms of how diverse we are as a community. I love the diversity of architecture, food, people, landscapes. It’s one of the only places I know where you can go surfing in the morning and skiing in the afternoon if you wanted to.”

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Optimus Properties, LLC Completes Purchase of Pico Rivera Development Opportunity

Optimus Properties, LLC, through an affiliate, and with financing provided by First Republic Bank, has acquired the land formerly occupied by El Rodeo nightclub, located at the corner of Washington Boulevard and Rosemead Boulevard, in Pico Rivera, California, immediately adjacent to the LA Fitness-anchored Pico Rivera Marketplace which is also a part of the Optimus portfolio.

Optimus plans to demolish the existing, blighted former nightclub, and revitalize this valuable, centrally-located property by creating a planned development encompassing attractive, modern residential units.

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Optimus Properties, LLC enters Pasadena market with apartment building acquisition

LOS ANGELES, April 15, 2020 /Bizjournals/ – Optimus Properties has purchased a 38-unit apartment building in Old Town Pasadena.

The property, located at 400 North Los Robles Avenue, stands adjacent to the 210 freeway and within walking distance of the center of Old Town and the Gold Light Rail Lake station.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We are aware that the current market conditions are unsettling, but our conviction is that Pasadena will remain a strong rental market despite the intermediate downturn, and the purchase price reflected the current uncertainties in the marketplace,” said Optimus principal opens in a new windowKamyar Shabani in a  opens in a new windowstatement. “We believe that local transportation initiatives and strong economic fundamentals support our position on the Pasadena market.”

Shabani added that the company plans to renovate apartments in the building as they open up “to be competitive with Old Town Pasadena inventory.”

Built in 1958, the one-story building is located across from the Kaiser Permanente Building on Los Robles Avenue. The property is also within walking distance of the Paseo, the Pasadena Playhouse and numerous retail locations within Old Town Pasadena shopping district. The building contains 27 one-bedroom units and 11 two-bedroom units averaging about 900 square feet.

“The property attracted numerous offers from potential buyers because of the rarity of the offering, overall sales inventory for this generational neighborhood and proximity to the new Light Rail Gold line,” said Optimus principal opens in a new windowJoseph Shabani, adding that the acquisition is one of 11 properties sold in the Old Town market over the past decade.

Headquartered in Century City, Optimus Properties has a portfolio that includes retail, office, medical office and multi-family properties in California, Washington and New Mexico.

The firm most recently acquired a 20-unit apartment building in Palms on Westwood Blvd., a prime high street-retail asset located in the Golden Triangle of Beverly Hills and has several other projects in the works in Southern California including a planned 255-unit development in Pico Rivera.

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Optimus Properties, LLC Completes Purchase of Westwood Boulevard, 20 Unit Apartment Building

LOS ANGELES, April 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Optimus Properties, LLC purchased a 20-unit apartment building located at 3655 Westwood Blvd. this week for $6.065M. The building, built in 1966, is located in Palms, a high-growth submarket within the Greater Culver City area of Los Angeles County. The area allows current and future residents to enjoy the convenience of being located just five minutes from Downtown Culver City, a market undergoing a $2B development boom, and a train ride away to Downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica. The property maintains a mix of 13 one-bedroom units and 7 two-bedroom townhouse units averaging approximately 750 square feet. Optimus plans a program of capital improvements to update individual residences with modern finishes, and updated interiors.

3655 Westwood Boulevard. 20 Unit apartment building located adjacent to downtown Culver City.
“The proximity to such a booming employment market, including employers Apple, Nike, and Amazon, as well as access to public transportation, is driving our thesis on the area and the Property,” said Kamyar Shabani, a Principal at Optimus. Amazon recently unveiled details regarding their $620 million Culver City Campus, which Optimus believes will be one of the many catalysts to the area.

Joseph Shabani, Principal at Optimus, said, “We are aware that many transactions in today’s turbulent market have either been cancelled or put on hold. The fact that we are proceeding with this acquisition speaks to our confidence we have in the market as well as our ability to hold up commitments as a firm.”

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Optimus Properties, LLC Completes sale of 16-Unit Baldwin Hills Apartment Building, for $3.95M

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — An affiliate of Optimus Properties, LLC has completed the sale of a 16-unit apartment complex located on August Street in Baldwin Hills for $3.95 million or $247,000 per unit. The property was built in 1957 and consists of one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom units.

Many enhancements were made to the building to improve tenant satisfaction and retention, increase leasing activity, and reduce operational expenses. Improvements included unit interior renovations, exterior renovation and seismic retrofitting.

“With multiple deals in our pipeline, this sale frees up capital that we plan on deploying in larger, more generational assets, the disposition of this asset fuels our strategy to be aggressive buyers in a tightening market,” said Kamyar Shabani, a principal of Optimus Properties, LLC.

“Due to renovated units, highly desirable transit-oriented location, and a strong unit mix, August Street apartments presented a tremendous opportunity to capitalize on a growing neighborhood,” said K. Joseph Shabani, a principal of Optimus Properties, LLC.

Optimus Properties most recently acquired a prime high street-retail asset located in the opens in a new windowGolden Triangle of Beverly Hills.

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Optimus Properties, LLC Completes Sale of Two Mixed-Use/Retail Buildings in Carmel-by-the-Sea

CARMEL, Calif., Feb. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Optimus Properties, LLC, through an affiliate, has completed the sale of the last two retail storefronts which it purchased as part of a larger portfolio in June of 2015. Since acquisition, Optimus Properties has renovated and leased the two properties with all new NNN tenants as well as renovated and leased the two vacant apartment units on the second floor, resulting in an estimated 57% annual return to their investors. Since acquisition, Carmel-by-the-Sea has increasingly attracted high-income tourists, golfers and travelers from around the country and the world. Carmel and the Monterey Peninsula are havens for shopping, eating and experiencing the unique charm of coastal Southern California. The two-building portfolio has a combined leasable area of 7,108 retail square feet with two residential units located off Ocean Avenue and Delores Street. The sale yielded a price in excess of $1,450 per foot.

K. Joseph Shabani, one of the principals of Optimus, stated, “This was a unique opportunity which we felt was, and still is, undervalued.” He added, “We are happy with the increasing attractiveness of Carmel and hope to invest in the market in the near future.” Currently, the building tenants are Compass Real Estate, Olivier Napa Valley, Royal Bee cosmetics and All About the Chocolate. Optimus Properties was represented by Michael Schoeder of Cushman & Wakefield in the sale. Kamyar Shabani stated, “The sale allows Optimus to continue its expansion and find more value-add and larger deals for better returns for its investors.”

Optimus Properties, LLC, located in Los Angeles, California, was founded by Kamyar Shabani and K. Joseph Shabani and employs a disciplined investment approach focused on value creation in office, retail, office and medical office properties throughout Los Angeles, New Mexico and Washington.

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Optimus Properties, LLC Sells 40 Unit Apartment Building in Koreatown for $7.35 Million

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — An affiliate of Optimus Properties, LLC has completed the sale of a 40-unit apartment complex located near West 3rd Street on South Mariposa Avenue in Koreatown. The property was built in 1928 and consists of studios and one bedrooms.

Many enhancements were made to the building to improve tenant satisfaction and retention, increase leasing activity, and reduce operational expenses. Improvements included unit interior renovations, solar thermal system, landscaping, new roof, renovated elevator cab, new intercom and access control system.
“After the successful sale of our nearby buildings at 3960 W. 8th Street and 2933 W. 8th Street we are continuing that momentum with the sale of 238 S. Mariposa Avenue,” said Kamyar Shabani, a principal of Optimus Properties, LLC, “the disposition of this asset makes this year our most productive and profitable yet. I am truly excited to see what’s in store for 2020.”

“As the market matures and our firm continues to grow, we are focused on buying larger assets that are in line with our investment thesis based on the quality and quantity of employment opportunities in accessible locations,” said K. Joseph Shabani, a principal of Optimus Properties, LLC.

Optimus Properties, LLC, located in Los Angeles, California, was founded by Kamyar Shabani and K. Joseph Shabani and employs a disciplined investment approach focused on value creation in multifamily and commercial properties throughout the greater Los Angeles region.

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Optimus Properties, LLC Completes $15M Purchase of Master Architect-Designed Golden Triangle Mixed-Use Trophy Asset

BEVERLY HILLS – Optimus Properties, LLC, through an affiliate, and with financing provided by First Republic Bank, has added to its holdings in the famed “Golden Triangle” of Beverly Hills by purchasing a two-story retail/office building located at 9701-9725 S. Santa Monica Boulevard.  The historical and attractive Modernist/Spanish Revival classic was built in the mid-1920’s by Master Architect W. Asa Hudson (Beverly Hills Hotel bungalows) and consists of 18,000 rentable square feet with nearby parking located in an affiliate property across the street.

Located on “little” Santa Monica Boulevard, at the very apex of the “Golden Triangle”, offers an unmatched location, with convenient access to local business in neighboring West Hollywood and Century City business districts. The building is tenanted by a cigar club, a hair salon and a skin and beauty salon at the ground level, and various psychologists and other professional tenants in the second floor offices.  Optimus intends to renovate the building with upgrades to the retail and office spaces while preserving the historically significant and abundantly charming architecture, and will be looking to stabilize the property following a protracted period during which the Property underperformed, as it was embroiled in litigation.

Kamyar Shabani, one of the principals of Optimus, stated, “We have always loved this building, and once we had the opportunity to acquire it, we pulled out all the stops.”  K. Joseph Shabani, Optimus’ other principal added, “We have had a lot of success with several properties in Beverly Hills, and with this particular asset, we see a lot of potential for growth under Optimus’ management approach”.

Optimus Properties, LLC, located in Los Angeles, California, was founded by Kamyar Shabani and K. Joseph Shabani and employs a disciplined investment approach focused on value creation in office, retail, office and medical office properties throughout Los Angeles.

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Optimus Properties Refinances 3 buildings in Multifamily Portfolio

Optimus Properties, LLC, through a trio of coordinated refinancings, has refinanced the debt on three multi-family properties.

The total capitalization for the three refinances is roughly $18 million and resulted in the return of approximately $3 million in initial equity.  George Smith Partners secured all three loans.  Two of the loans were made by Greystone & Co. and one by Umpqua Bank. 

“Secondary and tertiary communities in the Greater Seattle area are being fueled by ongoing job growth and strong economic fundamentals, resulting in strong growth potential for well-located multifamily investments,” Kamyar Shabani, Principal of Optimus Properties, stated. “We felt comfortable entering the market how we did, with the partnerships we have.”

Greystone provided Optimus with an approximately $6 million, non-recourse loan for a 43-unit Multifamily property in the greater Seattle area. The loan provided 70% leverage and is fixed at a rate of 4.04% for ten years. Over the past several years, Optimus completely renovated the exterior of the property and turned just over one quarter of the units.

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