ABOUT THE CLIENT AND PROJECT
Abby Sher was a local real estate investor, developer, and community activist who bought this site over 30 years ago. She began redeveloping the site in the 1984. It had previously been an industrial facility, originally an ice and refrigeration plant at the turn of the last century. In the 1940′s it was converted to the Edgemar Farms egg processing plant before Ms. Sher developed it into the award winning architectural masterpiece that it is today. It was designed by world renowned and widely acclaimed architect Frank Gehry. The property is a mix of retail, office, restaurant, and performing arts center. The challenge was to exclusively market the property but in a highly discreet manner without signage, without internet or multiple listing service exposure, and without disclosing the marketing to the existing tenants. Lastly, the most difficult requirement was to find a buyer who would continue the project’s large social commitment to the neighbors and the local art community.
Approximately 35,000 square feet of building located on 50,000 square feet of land
Ms. Sher wanted to devote more of her personal time to social causes and her personal projects. She wanted to devote less time managing Edgemar Center, to which she had painstakingly devoted her life and soul for the previous 25 years. It was clear that at that time that the “Real Estate Winds” had shifted and that we were approaching the peak of the market cycle. Financing which had been very easy to obtain for the previous four to five years was heading to a much tighter practice. Time was of the essence to find a buyer quickly but it had to meet her specific requirements to ensure her legacy and the legacy of what she created at this unique project.
We were able to find a philanthropic buyer who was just coming out of a 1031 exchange and was looking for a unique asset for her entire family to be involved with. It seemingly was a “needle in a haystack” type fit which was sourced through our personal relationships within the local real estate community. We reached out to the right people at the right time. There were other buyers willing to pay more money but none were willing to commit to the non profit theater group and the many events held year round at the center. The project was also one of the last $10,000,000 + CMBS loans funded in 2007 before the collapse of that lending source. We undertook a very difficult assignment but were able to satisfy the seller with the right buyer. To the great pleasure of our client, the Edgemar Center continues today to serve the neighborhood and the local art community on Main Street in Santa Monica.