The Miami-based developer that owns Wyvernwood Apartments has secured a $155 million loan to refinance the 1,175-unit complex it plans to raze and rebuild in Boyle Heights.

According to the business web site The Commercial Observer, the five-year interest-only loan is being provided to The Fifteen Group by UBS, a Swiss multinational investment bank. The mortgage-backed securities financing –or CMBS loan– is the largest deal of the year for UBS, which valued the complex at $205 million.

The Commercial Observer reported that the loan refinances $111.4 million in outstanding debt and will allow the developer to cash out $41.1 million in equity. It is unclear if the loan advances The Fifteen Group’s redevelopment plans for Wyvernwood.

Led by co-founder and principal Mark Sanders, The Fifteen Group acquired the historic apartments complex in 1998. In 2007 the group said it planned to convert the “1930s era-complex into a 21st century, sustainable community that increases the amount of rental and for-sale housing, retail, office, and commercial space in Boyle Heights.”

The plan called “for redeveloping the 70-acre site to include 4,400 residential units, 300,000 square feet of retail, office, and commercial space as well as nine acres of publicly accessible open space.” The plan would include affordable and market-rate apartments, plus Senior housing. Construction was slated to commence as early as 2010 and take up to 10 years to complete what was proposed as a $2 billion project.

But The Fifteen Group’s plan was met by resistance from residents who fear they would be displaced by the development, and little or nothing has been heard from the developer in recent years.

The report published by the online site on Tuesday offers some new information culled from data obtained by the agency that provided credit ratings for the deal.  Highlights include:

  • The 630-acre site has remained nearly fully occupied for the last 20 years, bringing in an annual income of about $10 million.
  •  Tenancy is exceptionally stable for a multifamily property, with average residents staying for nearly 14 years.
  • Nearly a third of current residents have lived at Wyvernwood since the late 1990s.
  • The average rent for an apartment at Wyvernwood is $1,184, which according to the report is below the neighborhood average of $1,436. Newer tenants have signed leases for over $1,500 a month over the past few years.

Built in 1939, Wyvernwood is known as a prime example of a “garden apartments” complex and is a registered landmark in the California Register of Historical Resources. The Los Angeles Conservancy  has joined residents who support preserving the apartments.

But backers of the Fifteen Group’s proposal say the project will bring new jobs and add much needed housing to the neighborhood.



One Response

  1. Avatar
    Ruby Blue Cruz

    My name is Ruby Cruz I was born 1953 and raised in Boyle Heights went to Roosevelt High School my parents and my family also raised and born in Boyle Heights in East LA I live in the Estrada courts what was so great about the Estrada courts it was a community up low income and poor people hard-working people and we help each other out it was a community that came together that help each other had our meetings in our little apartments and figured out who needed what if there was someone that needed the rent to be paid we would come together and have bake sales Car Wash whatever we needed to do to help them out we will come together and we would help each other to give families in need of groceries it was a community… of paying it forward it was a community of color it was a community where we shared our cultures are music or Foods it was a community that if someone had to go to work or go to school and didn’t have a babysitter we all come together and help each other out with that the parents mothers… who didn’t work will go to the park across the street and I’m talking about Estrada courts and take care of the children it was a community of paying it forward…and helping each other out it was a spirit of love it was a spirit of of knowing that we all came together for each other and you’re taking that away by gentrification it’s not helping the people you’re selling it out!!!.. to Big corporate people who come from other countries were very rich and you want to rent it for $1,500 what kind of b******* is that these are salt-of-the-earth people the hood that means everything to the community you’re selling out to pushing out poor people the Estrada courts are needed for the low-income hard-working low income and poor people!!!.. who work real hard to keep a roof over their head and you’re making it harder for them to do that because I money because you have an excuse because all the economic has gotten high which is all bulshit!!!.. how dare you take away the spirit of Boyle Heights in East LA by raising the rent because somebody from another country or some rich man or woman comes in and save or we can fix this up not fixing nothing up your throwing the people who really need to be there and are going to become homeless and going to have to live in tents there are 30000 Californias who are homeless because of this so-called b******* gentrification!!.. is the most greediest selfish state that it has turned into because of corporate businesses rich people coming in and taking away the real community that needs to still be there I live there way back in 1966 I think maybe 1965… and there is a true Spirit of Love communication caring kindness compassion for one another and you’re trying to replace all of that with money you need to think about the people because it doesn’t look like you are my phone numbers 323 817 9224… my father was a muralist of Boyle Heights in East LA he was an organizer for certain community centers one of them is a self help graphics a musician a writer a painter sheet metal artists he started a lot of communities many don’t even know who did it but my father was part of it to bring art into a lot of communities and our young people and children through ART he has murals and Estrada courts Romero Courts.. his murals are all threw up and down Cesar Chavez at the time was called Brooklyn which is in Boyle Heights and East LA and you’re taking away the true meaning of a community of hard-working people low-income people!!.. who strive so hard to have their own rather was renting or owning their own house and taking it all the way with your blood Money!!.. you may read it this and not care because all you care about is the money not the people but I pray to God you call me because this gentrification is horrible it’s not about helping the people it’s about bringing rich people into the community and throwing out the poor people you really want to help the people there’s nothing wrong with making it better and fixing it but don’t throw out the people who have been there for longer than most of you who are on that board!!!… most of you are going to buy that land I want to make sure this is going to be known and renting it for $1,500 are you crazy even $1,400 is a lot of money are you insane are you that selfish that you need that much money way up!! dare you treat the people of Boyle Heights in East LA like that it’ll come back to you so hard you are so wrong doing what you’re doing to that community!!..for the entire community of Boyle Heights in East LA and what you’re doing and you’re trying to throw them out bad enough in the history of California we got the most homeless in the Nation!!…people housing is a human right did you know that housing is a human right do you believe that housing is a human right do you have a heart for that!!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.