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The replacement cost barrier

As we seek to deploy our current pool of capital at a time of generally high prices, we are running up against the issue of replacement cost. Here’s the problem: As a repositioner, you don’t really want to be in the position of spending more to buy and renovate a building than it would cost

Another report from the front line of the zoning wars

Fund 3 investors know we’re in the process of adding a second story with two units to a duplex we bought a few months ago. This is a pretty straight-forward operation: There is plenty of room on the lot and the zoning allows for more than two additional units. This should be the kind of project

When is a re-pipe not just a re-pipe?

When you have a building with a “slab” (as opposed to a “raised”) foundation. With a raised foundation, there is a crawl-space under the bottom floor through which pipes run. This makes re-piping the building pretty easy. With a slab foundation, the building sits right on a thick concrete slab in which the original plumbing is

865 N. Hoover is done

We just completed renovations on 865 N. Hoover, a 5 unit complex in Silver Lake right near Sunset Junction. This was a pretty painful deal, because we had a long fight with the city over whether we could add some basement space to the two bottom-floor units. In the end, we won, but it was

How the state ought to handle gangsters

Today’s LA Times has a heart-warming story about a couple of gangbangers who decided it would be an excellent idea to carjack some people at 3AM this morning right near our office. Not content with stealing the car, these wonderful humans shot their victims (thankfully, no one was killed). Based on where this happened, I

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