DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES — A prominent Downtown Los Angeles development firm has taken big steps in the effort to make it a major West Coast real estate player.
Urban Partners, which is based in Downtown’s Bradbury Building, announced that it has joined with Seattle’s Harbor Urban and the Mack Real Estate Group to form a development and investment firm dubbed Mack Urban. The company will remain headquartered in Downtown.
Paul Keller, who founded Urban Partners with Dan Rosenfeld and the late Ira Yellin about 15 years ago, will be CEO of Mack Urban. Another Urban Partners executive, Matthew Burton, will become president and CIO.
Urban Partners has developed prominent Downtown projects including the CalTrans headquarters in the Civic Center and the 1,600-bed student housing complex University Gateway, near USC. The company has undertaken projects in other West Cities, and Keller said that the business relationship with Mack goes back nearly two decades.
“This partnership will provide us a number of things,” said Keller. “It will allow us more flexibility in determining how long we own assets.”
He said the new company also provides an opportunity to look at additional types of development beyond multi-family, urban-infill projects, which has been its focus to date. Additionally, he touted the development experience of the family-owned Mack Real Estate Group.
Keller said the goal is to take on a variety of projects up and down the West Coast, including in Seattle and the Bay Area.
Urban Partners had a stake in the Fashion District housing complex Santee Court for several years, though that has been sold. Keller said Mack Urban is looking at new Downtown projects, though he would not provide specifics. Yet.
“I am highly confident that very soon we will be able to announce us making some additional investment decisions in the Central Business District,” he said.
Copyright 2013 Los Angeles Downtown News