WHO’S WHO IN REAL ESTATE: MULTIFAMILY COMPANIES RACE TO KEEP PACE

CITYVIEW-MULTIFAMILY COMPANIES RACE TO KEEP PACE

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WHO’S WHO IN REAL ESTATE: MULTIFAMILY COMPANIES RACE TO KEEP PACE

By Hannah Madans | Monday, October 12, 2020

10.12.2020

CITYVIEW-MULTIFAMILY COMPANIES RACE TO KEEP PACE

CITYVIEW

Founded: 2003
Headquarters: Century City
CEO: Sean Burton

Century City-based Cityview is one of the most active developers in Los Angeles.
The company ranked No. 3 on the Business Journal’s most recent list of commercial real estate developers in L.A., where it has developed 6.5 million square feet across 75 projects since 2010.

Cityview owns and operates 5,000 residential units and has 1,000 units worth $500 million in the pipeline, according to Chief Executive Sean Burton.

Despite Covid-19, Burton said business has been strong.

“Things have been going well, all things considered,” he said. “It’s been a crazy few months. We’ve been pleasantly surprised by people’s willingness and ability to pay rent. We’ve been happy with the virtual leasing efforts.”

Burton said the company’s occupancy numbers are not quite where they were pre-
pandemic, but virtual leasing efforts have been fairly successful. Lease retention, meanwhile, is 10% to 20% higher than pre-Covid levels at Cityview properties.

The company has opened outdoor amenities at its properties, Burton said. Indoor amenities vary based on the jurisdiction’s ordinances.

“We’ve made lots of changes as far as limiting the capacity of places,” he said, adding that Cityview is making sure people are wearing masks, that areas are kept clean and that people are distancing.

Burton said the level of leasing and tenant retention has made the company interested in new projects.

“We had these projects ready to break ground in Q2 of this year and Q3, and we delayed those because we wanted to go back and see if we could get prices down and get some reductions, and we were pleasantly surprised. Now we are ready to break ground,” he said.

While new deals are happening, Burton added, they’re not occurring at the same pace as in previous years because of Covid-19, the upcoming presidential election, and propositions on the November ballot.

Burton said the company is not currently looking to sell properties despite being involved in a few large sales last year. In December, Cityview sold an equity stake in The Pearl on Wilshire in Koreatown, which valued the property at nearly $171 million.
The Pearl on Wilshire, at 687 S. Hobart Blvd., is a 346-unit property that opened in 2018.

Cityview had also sold the 174-unit Mira at the Warner Center for $70.5 million.
“We are generally not selling properties,” Burton said, the exception being two that had contracts fall out during Covid as buyers lost financing.