438-Unit L.A. M-F Property Commands $132.9M

The 438-unit Millennium Warner Center in the Los Angeles suburb of Woodland Hills just sold to Wesco L.L.P. for a purchase price of nearly $133 million.

July 18, 2011
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

It’s big, it’s brand new and it just fetched nearly $132.9 million. The 438-unit Millennium Warner Center in the Los Angeles suburb of Woodland Hills, just sold to Wesco L.L.P., a joint venture sponsored by Essex Property Trust, in a transaction orchestrated by boutique brokerage firm Institutional Property Investors. IPA marketed the premier apartment community on behalf of the seller, Dinerstein Cos.

Carrying the address of 21201 Kittridge St., Millennium is located in the vibrant Warner Center business district in San Fernando Valley, approximately 25 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. The 415,000 square-foot complex opened its doors in December of 2010 and residences have been signing leases at the luxury property at a rate of 40 to 70 units a month ever since.

Growing demand apartments across Los Angeles is certainly helping in lease-up efforts. Los Angeles County’s apartment vacancy rate experienced a significant decline in 2010, and it is on track to drop 100 basis points this year to an estimated 3.9 percent, according to a report by Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the parent company of IPA.

Millennium’s success–the multifamily community’s marketing team fielded over 100 inquiries every week during the first few weeks after the debut–may be a result of something more than an increasingly loud call for luxury accommodations in the area. In eco-conscious Los Angeles, green living accommodations are highly coveted and Millennium is one of the first multifamily assets in the county to earn the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver certification and the very first luxury apartment property to achieve the designation in San Fernando Valley.

Not only are renters on the prowl for high-quality apartments in the area, investors are also quite keen on assets in the submarket. Transaction volume in western San Fernando Valley jumped 33 percent in 2010 and the dollar volume rose 80 percent, according to a report by real estate services firm The Berzack Group. The Millennium sale marked one of the largest apartment transactions in metropolitan Los Angeles this year. In April, Buchanan Street Partners and the Kor Group sold the 322-unit Pegasus in downtown Los Angeles to Equity Residential for $100 million.