Category: Historic

Angelino Heights

 Angelino Heights Neighborhood los angeles

Angelino Heights
Zip Codes: 90026

Luckel house 1308 calumet ave

Many of the Victorian Homes in Angelino Heights were built without garages because at this time horse drawn carriage was main form of transportation

Angelino Heights is one of Los Angeles’ oldest neighborhoods. Developed by Everett Hall and William Stilson during the Land rush of the 1880’s, they named the streets – Carroll, Marion, Allison, Helen, Wallace, and Everett— fater their family members. Iona was the home town in the midwest of the Hall family. The neighborhood has been on the way up in recent years.

160 Lots for homes to be built on

Only $500 for a lot in 1902!

Most of the development in Angelino Heights happened between 1900-1910. These homes were large two story properties built for the upper middle class. With the passing of time, some of these 19th century properties have fallen into great disrepair. If you are a homebuyer looking for an opportunity to buy a big historic house to fix up, this is a great place to find one.

Angelino Height fixers

Angelino Heights Fixers

Every Lot in Angelino Heights is zone R2, which is a multifamily apartment zone. The Neighborhood fell on hard times at least twice in its 100-year history. During those times, large houses were converted into boarding houses, and many historic properties were torn down to building apartment buildings. Of the 760 Properties in the neighborhood, about 60% are apartments, and 40% are homes. There are virtually no condos. With high rents and lower prices, this is an attractive area for cash flow investment or for live in one and rent the other(s) landlords.

The community is a hillside community, so building and parking can be difficult. Homes on the top of the hill have sweeping city views.

Angelino Heights is probably best known for its Victorian era homes that lay on charm with a trowel. Take a stroll down Carroll Avenue and enjoy these magnificent and rare gems.


Angelino Heights was the first neighborhood to be designated as an HPOZ in 1983. In addition to Victorians, the area has some great Craftsman houses that were popular in 1910-1920.

This LA neighborhood is a colorful and eclectic mix of historic homes, income property, and people.


Angelino Heights is a neighborhood within the city of Echo Park. It’s boundaries are Echo Park Avenue on the west, that runs along the wonderful Echo Lake. Sunset Boulevard to the North, and the 101 Freeway.


View of Angelino Heights from Lago Vista Condos

The main activity areas for Angelino Heights are Sunset Blvd and Echo Lake Park. Sunset Blvd has a host of café’s, record and book stores, bar 1, bar 2, bar 3, restaurants (including vegan options), art galleries, and music venues- I personally love the echoplex. There is even a bike shop! Once a year the neighborhood has a weekend festival called echo park rising that is quite well attended.

In addition, Downtown Los Angeles is only 15 minutes.

echo park vons

The Vons at 1342 N Alvarado St will probably be your regular spot for groceries. I love this place!

Every Friday there is the Echo Park Farmers market from 3PM-7PM.


VICTORIAN- Angelino Heights is one of Los Angeles’ last remaining bastions of Victorian architecture. It’s hard to believe that at the turn of the century Victorian architecture was one of the city’s most popular styles. You kind find the Victorian homes in the oldest part of the neighborhood on Carroll Ave, Kellam Ave and Calumet Ave. The owners on Carroll paid to bury electric powerlines and install vintage streetlamps.

CRAFTSMAN- In the teens of the 20th century Craftsman architecture was really starting to take off. Many Craftsman homes were built in Angelino Heights during this period. Some were even built as residential income properties.

Income Property- Unfortunately, with a few exceptions (like the beautiful 7u streamline modern @ 1000 W Edgeware), the income property in Angelino Heights only a mother could love. You will never turn vinegar into jam. As a landlord, have a beautiful building is nice, but the most important thing is the rent. This area is a extremely strong and robust rental market.

Real Estate


Bungalows $600,00 -$800,000

Large Houses $1,000,000 – $1,400,000

Single Family Record Sale: $1,520,000  Date 11/25/2015

Turnover: 3% (Very Low!)

Appreciation: 5%


Are you interested in the Angelino Heights area? Let’s chat today, click the button below!


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1645 Vine St | Broadway Hollywood Lofts


Broadway Department Store 1951

Broadway Department Store 1951

Broadway Hollywood Lofts
1645 N. Vine St
Los Angeles CA 90028

If you love Old Hollywood as much as New Hollywood- Broadway Hollywood Lofts is the right place for you!

Broadway Hollywood Sign

Broadway Hollywood Sign 2005

Broadway Hollywood Lofts is a ten-story 96 condo Historic High-rise in Hollywood. Built in 1928, it housed BH Dyas Co Department Store until 1931 when Broadway took over its 30 year lease. Broadway Lofts was designed by architect Frederick Rice Dorn (1858-1930) in the Beaux Arts style. It has a strong resemblance to the Taft Building across the street which was built in 1923 by different architects. In 1938 Broadway Built a Streamline Modern Addition next store that was designed by Parkinson & Parkinson.

There are two other condo buildings nearby: Historic Hollywood and Vine Lofts is on the North East Corner of Hollywood and Vine, and the W Hotel residences a half block east on Hollywood Blvd.

Presumably an aspiring actress who just got off the bus at Hollywood and Vine and is waiting in front of the Hollywood-Broadway.

A new Hollywood Dreamer arrives in Los Angeles, gets off the bus, at the Hollywood and Vine stop, is standing in front of the Hollywood-Broadway.

Broadway Lofts gets its name from the Broadway Department store chain, which had its “Broadway-Hollywood” store there from 193z to 1982. In 2007 the building was converted from an office building to residential lofts by Kor Group. Kor Group did a similar conversion project a year earlier Downtown at Eastern Columbia Lofts.

There will always be people with spread out suburban sensibilities, Broadway owners are not one of these people. Living in the Broadway is like living in a small village, in an urban setting. You eventually get to know all your neighbors who live in the building, while you are socializing in the common areas, at the pool, or waiting for your car.

Owners of Broadway Hollywood Lofts enjoy substantial savings on their property tax because the building has a Mills Act contract. They pay around 1/3 of their normal annual property taxes.


Broadway Hollywood Lofts is located on the famed intersection of Hollywood and Vine.


The Walk of Fame is at your front door. There is so much activity going on in re-invigorated Hollywood, you’ll never tire of things to do!

On the weekend catch a movie at ArcLight Theaters, or watch a music concert at the Hollywood Palladium or Music Box Fonda Theater. Feeling in the mood for a musical? The Pantages theater is walking distance and gets all the broadway boxoffice hits. Not to mention nearby Hollywood Bowl and its summer concert series. Magic Castle is just plain cool. The Brickyard Pub, Lucky Strike Bowling.

Want to grab a bite to eat? There are plenty of restaurants nearby:  Katsuya, Chloe,  Beso, Musso and Franks’s, tender greens, shop house to name a few.

Or maybe you just need a drink? Drais night club in the W hotel, IO West improv, 33 taps, and Avalon night club are all within ambulation distance.

There is a trader Joe’s market at Vine and Selma for groceries. Sunday mornings is the Hollywood Farmers’ Market on Ivar. I should be map at them because I parked on Ivar overnight, and rushed to get to my car before 8:00 am, and my car was towed at 6:00 am. Just never park there on a Saturday night.

Starbucks for your morning coffee routine is across the street in ground level of Taft building. Transportation is easy with the Redline Subway station entrance and easy access to 101 Freeway.

101 Freeway Mural Argyle

101 Freeway Mural Argyle


 The Broadway Hollywood condos are true loft floorplans with no wall separating the bedrooms. Many owners have added curtains, privacy screens, or glass block walls to their bedroom to create separation. The condos are Live/Work so you can do business.

Most of the condos are single level floor plans. Only condos: #1008, #1006, #1005, #1004, #1002,# 909, #813, #814 are multilevel.

One thing I like is the HUGE 15 ft ceilings in the hallways and condos. You get a real “LOFTY” feeling when you are inside this building. I have to say that all the staff are extremely helpful and friendly. There is a big freight elevator, in addition to the main 2 elevators, which makes moving easier. The Freight Elevator is the only elevator that goes to the rooftop where the pool and gym are located.

There are:

1BR (29) 900sqft – 1,250 sqft

2BR (67) 1,400sqft – 2,200 sqft


North View


East View

Because it’s a high-rise, condos facing the North Side and to a lesser extent East Side have great views of the Hollywood Hills and Capital Records building, and Griffith Park and the Hollywood Sign. South view is blocked by Plaza Hotel except for the 10th floor, and West View is blocked by Streamline Modern building.

Kitchens were finished with European style cabinets and Amana Stainless steel appliances. A lot of owners add kitchen islands to customize their kitchens.

Loft Bedrooms have a master bathroom that has a separate tub and shower, double vanity, penny tiles and hex subway tiles.

Condos came standard with exposed concrete floors, however some owners have installed wood flooring.

A handful of condos have a modest balcony, most do not have balconies.

Prices Range from $600,000 to $900,000 for 1BR and $1,000,000 to $1,200,000 for 2BR

Turnover- about 6-8 condos sell each year for 7% turnover ratio

Broadway Hollywood Loft Amenities



-Rooftop Pool. The Pool has great views, and is 4 1/2 feet deep. Pool Hours are 6am to Midnight. There are 2 Cabanas, outdoor fireplace between the Cabanas, and SPA on the rooftop as well, with Access to the GYM.


-State of the Art GYM.


-LOBBY, I love the Tiles and Antiqued Mirrors! Very Art Deco and 1950’s

-24/HR Valet

-24/HR Doorman

Parking & Laundry


 Laundry Inside, in a laundry closet near front door. The Dryer is ventless.



Entrance to Parking Garage is off Vine in Ally between the Broadway and Hollywood Plaza Hotel. Broadway has Valet Parking Only. Parking spaces are not deed or assigned. 1 Parking space for small sqft condos, and 2 parking spaces for the larger size condos. You pull up into Parking garage from the ally and a Valet will take your vehicle.  There are two Car Elevators that take your car to the two sub-basement parking levels, or the two parking levels on the 1st and 2nd floors. There is NO GUEST PARKING at the Broadway Hollywood Lofts. Overnight parking is available at a ramp down the street for $10 overnight.

Home Owners Association


HOA dues Monthly Cost? $1,000 -$1,800/mo. (Don’t forget the Mills Act Savings)

HOA dues cover?

Owner Pays?

Any special assessments?

Pet Policy?

Rental Policy? None

EQ Insurance?

Building Reserves?

Special move in instructions?

Management company?

Action Property Management

Front desk Phone Number?


If you are ready to see properties like the Broadway Hollywood Lofts or if you have any other questions, you can call me directly at (310) 388-7332 or click the button below and I will be in touch!


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849 S Broadway | Eastern Columbia

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849 south broadway

Eastern Columbia Lofts
849 S Broadway
Los Angeles CA 90014

Eastern Columbia Lofts is a Historic High-rise in the financial district of Downtown. Built in 1930, Eastern Columbia has a rich history. If you dig Eastern Columbia lofts you might also want to check out nearby Historic Highrise Rowen Lofts.

Eastern Columbia is easy to spot- with its bright jewel tone Turquoise and gold leaf terra cotta exterior. Talk about Opulent! Eastern Columbia is one of the finest Art Deco buildings in all of Los Angeles, and the only one that you can own as private residences.

The high-rise art deco tower is 13 stories tall, providing gratifying views of the downtown skyline from inside and from the rooftop deck and pool area. The building was converted to Condos in 2006 by Kor Group. There are 147 condos total. Kilfer Fleming was the architect for the project and Kelly Wearstler did the interior designing. $80 million dollars was spent modernizing and upgrading the building. The renovations restored original elements and infused them with modern amenities. I think the developer did a good job of harmonizing the renovations with the overall spirit of the building.

Today, Eastern Columbia lofts dazzles anew and offers owners a unique downtown living experience.


Eastern Columbia lofts is located at the corner of Broadway and W 9th St. It’s on Broadway. When Eastern Columbia lofts opened, buyers came for the building, but now the neighborhood is becoming the selling point.

Broadway lights

Downtown’s Broadway has had its ups and downs.

7th and Broadway 1920

7th and Broadway 1920


7th & Broadway 1928

In the 1920s and 30s, Broadway was in its halcyon days. You didn’t see horse drawn carriages anymore, the traffic had mechanized. Pedestrians, motorcars and electric streetcar shuffled passed each other between gridlocks. The Broadway theater district was the entertainment center of the city. There were twelve grandiose theaters on Broadway between 3rd street and Olympic boulevard:

Million Dollar Theater – 307 S Broadway  (open)
The Roxie (closed) 518 S Broadway
Cameo (closed) 528 S Broadway
Arcade (closed) 534 S Broadway
Los Angeles Theater(open) 615 S Broadway
Palace Theater (open) 630 S Broadway
State Theater (closed) 703 S Broadway
Globe Theater (open) 744 S Broadway
Tower Theater (open) 802 S Broadway
Rialto Theater (urban outfiiter) 812 S Broadway
Orpheum Theater (open) 842 S Broadway
United Artist Theater (open ACE HOTEL) 929 S Broadway

These theaters attracted millions of visitors each year. Like its new York city namesake, LA’s Broadway was jumping with vaudeville acts, plays, musical performances and later black and white movie screenings.


However during the great depression Broadway fell on hard times. Downtown Los Angeles went into a steady decline and by the 1950’s the city had moved West. Century City and West Los Angeles in the 1960’s took many businesses away from downtown’s business district. Westwood Village and the Beverly Center attracted shoppers away from Downtown. Chinese Grauman Theater and Hollywood took away traffic from the theaters.


7th and Broadway 1956


7th and Broadway 1958

In addition there was a real smog problem in Los Angeles from 1960 -1980 that was especially bad downtown. By the 1980’s beleaguered and blighted Broadway was downright dangerous and scary. The once beautiful theaters were either closed, demolished, or converted to other uses like flea markets, discotechs or churches.

In front of Lowes Theater

Picture taken in front of the State Theater, 703 S Broadway

In the past 10 years downtown has made a real comeback. But the dream of making it big on Broadway has remained elusive. This is somewhat on an enigma when the surrounding areas on Spring and Main in Downtown have improved much faster.



The City Council passed the Bringing Back Broadway initiative, reinvesting $40M into Broadway. But if you walk on Broadway today, you will see that many buildings are boarded up, have broken windows, and graphitti still remains. The street level vendors are low income electronics, clothing, and jewelry stores. In an La Times article interviewing one of the local small business owners on broadway about the recent changes, he remarked that he thinks the changes are good, however the new crowd that’s moving in probably doesn’t want his business.

There are rumors floating around that a streetcar will return to broadway, but I don’t expect to see one anytime soon, because the cost estimate to build one is around $350M.

Encouraging Signs of Broadway’s Comeback

Ace Hotel


The biggest story is the neighborhood is the Ace Hotel that opened in 2014. It took over the old United Artists theater. This hipster hotspot is making Broadway feel young and cool again! They restored the 1,600 seat theater, which now has regular performances, and have a rooftop pool and tasty restaurant.

The Orpheum


The Orpheum theater underwent a $3.5M renovation in 2001 and now has regular shows of things you’d actually want to see. The lineup is totally eclectic so it will always keep you guessing who might play there next. I love the Neon Billboard on it’s roof. It’s right across the street from Eastern Columbia so you get a very good view of this attractive building.

Urban Outfitters


 Urban Outfitters moved into the old Rialto theater. They totally gutted the inside so the walls are exposed brick, and the ceilings are exposed wood rafters. The lifestyle brand has a very hip clientele and has a reputation along with the ace hotel for being a Pioneer, opening up stores in edgy up and coming neighborhoods. UO sells records, clothing, and shoes.



The long awaited reopening of a downtown classic, Clifton’s, finally happened in 2015. The new owner spent $10M on renovations and it took him 5 years to finish. Clifton’s is not your normal restaurant- it has a giant faux redwood tree INSIDE and a waterfall. It’s a must see for anyone spending the day Downtown. Grab something from the deli counter!

DTLA Whole Foods


Opened 2015 at Grand and 8th. Property values always go up when whole foods moves in. Now you’ve got another grocery shopping choice in addition to 7th and Fig

Yes Broadway still has some rough edges, but change is happening. Some day all the old theaters will be reopened and Broadway will be back.  



The Vertical Lines typical of Art Deco make Eastern Columbia appear taller

close up of beatifully patina copper spandrels

close up of beautifully patina copper spandrels

Mr. Sieroty wanted to make a statement with Eastern Columbia and he certainly did. This project was the crown jewel in his 29 store department chain, and the culmination of an entire career. Eastern Columbia opened in 1930, when Mr Sieroty was 54. He passed away just seven years later in 1937.


Sieroty hired local architect Claud Beelman to design his new flagship store. Beelman might at first glance seem to be a strange choice, because Beelman’s previous projects were all Beaux Arts commercial buildings (Barker Bros. Building, Roosevelt Building, Elks Lodge, Pershing Square Building). By the early 1930’s downtown was getting overrun by Beaux Art buildings and they were all starting to blend together in a muted putty symphony of stone. I think Beelman was just as sick of Beaux Arts as Sieroty was. Beelman had already started experimenting with Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles.


Eastern Columbia Lofts has an “East Coast” kind of vibe. In 1929, Sieroty sent Beelman on a field trip to the east coast to search for ideas. Beelman traveled to New York, Boston, Detroit and other Eastern cities to come up with ideas for a new distinctive building. I have no evidence that Beelman visited Radiator Building (1924) in New York by Raymond Hood, but I can see a strong resemblance with Eastern Columbia.


Radiator Building NY

Beelman designed a handful of other art deco buildings during this time. The Garfield Building (1928), the Jewelry Center (1931) and 9th & Broadway (1930). Eastern Columbia is his finest Art Deco design.

Eastern Columbia Lofts is a personal statement from Mr Sieroty. Mr. Sieroty was a shrewd business man, and was constantly thinking of new ways to promote his brands: Eastern Outfitting Company (Furniture Sales) & Columbia Outfitting company (Clothing Sales). I think he understood that building a store that was bold and daring would attract customers- at the time there was local competition from bigger brand-name’s like May Co., Desmonds, and Bullocks.

The most noticeable feature of Eastern Columbia is its brilliant and colorful Turquoise and Gold facade. Sieroty had guts to approve this bold color. It must have caused quite a stir when it finished. Eastern Columbia is frequently photographed and is one of the most adored buildings in Los Angeles.




One of my favorite features of Eastern Columbia is the two story arcade at the entrance. Adolph Sieroty name is proudly placed on the lintel above the doorway. He was proud of this building. The Golden Sunburst, zigzags, and chevrons at the entry give me the feeling that I am entering some sort of temple whenever I go in.


Eastern Clock Company, Adolph is young man on Far Right

Sieroty’s retail empire had humble beginnings. It started from a single Clock Shop on Spring Street in 1892 called ‘the Eastern Clock Company”. One of the most striking features of Eastern Columbia design is the Clock Tower. Sieroty pays homage to his first clock shop with the Clock Tower on top of Eastern Columbia.


Tower Theater 1927

Sieroty may have taken notice of the clock tower from Tower Theater (1927) just up the street, which was completed 3 years earlier. However, Sierotys Clock is on a completely different level, literally. Some wonder how Sieroty pulled the clock tower off. Los Angeles had a 150 feet height restriction on all buildings downtown, until 1956. Eastern Columbia lofts is 264 feet above the street, 114 feet above the height limit.


Sieroty must have known the right people in the right places to get around the height restriction. He was a socialite and booster. He was a member of the Jonathan Club, Los Angeles Club, Wilshire Country Club, and Los Angeles Country Club.  You can bet he had connections at city hall that allowed him to surpass the pre-war 150 foot height limit with his clocktower, so long as it wasn’t used for livable space. Consequently until the 1950’s Eastern Columbia was one of the tallest buildings downtown, only smaller than city hall (454 ft).

I’m a Huell Howser fan, and he did a wonderful tour of this Eastern Columbia when the conversion was completed in 2007. Worth a watch:




Eastern Columbia condos are true lofts. They have no wall or door on the bedroom. Some owners install dividing walls to define their bedroom space and create privacy. Condos originally sold with exposed concrete floors. You can customize the look and feel of the flooring by choosing a custom stain or acid wash.


Some owners have instead installed wood floors. Layouts are almost all single story, so no stairs. Square Footage is at a premium downtown, so the majority of the condos in Eastern Columbia are 800 sqft-1,200 sqft that are ideal for a 1 bedroom layout. Prices go up as you go higher, and by the size of the condo. Condos are selling between $700,000 and $1,000,000. The Larger condos are 1,200-1,600 sqft, there are about 40 of them of the 147 so they come up less often. There are 5 penthouses with average size of 2,500 sqft. A celebrity bought all the Penthouses from the Developer. Penthouses have a townhouse style layout.


Galley Style Kitchen


The Developer did a great job on the Kitchens and Bathrooms. Each condo has a Modern kitchen with Quartz countertops and European style cabinets and stainless steel appliances. The Bathrooms are great especially if you like to take baths. There are large soaking tubs with a tub deck that gives you a lot of space for setting candles, bath soaps, reading glasses etc. I love the vintage penny round tile.


This building has so many windows which means great natural light. Many of the original metal casement windows were saved- and what is unique is that they fully open and close, so you can get good air circulation. The condo’s have 11 foot ceilings for plenty of room to think.



Condos that face West or North have small balconies. Most condo’s don’t have a balcony. Washer Dryer in unit.  Wired for internet and cable.


Eastern Columbia has some hotel-like amenities that makes it feel like you are on vacation!


By far and away the best amenity is the Rooftop pool area!


Great View! Day or Night



The Private Rooftop Pool area, has a big open area with reclining lounge chairs and multiple umbrellas perfect for some sun worshiping or an evening dip. The Pool is 3 feet deep and long enough to swim laps. There is a Outdoor gas fireplace that makes this space dynamic at night. The is also a spa. The best part of the rooftop pool area is the mesmerizing views of Downtown Skyline.

Fitness Center



Nothing is more convenient than having a Fitness center on site. There are quite a few great gyms downtown, but if you don’t consider yourself a fitness buff- or maybe you are a fitness buff but sometimes its just good to have a backup, the fitness center has your daily exercise regime covered. All the Equpiment is new and it has a good mix between aerobic elypicals and treadmills and weight-resistance equipment.


For condo buildings, I am big on a lobby. It’s important to make a good impression, especially for Higher price point buildings. An attractive lobby can raise the resale value of the building. The Lobby in Eastern Columbia does not disappoint.  The original terrazzo from the sidewalk flows in from the street to flooring of the lobby.  Rows of Antiqued mirrors and Gilded ceilings riff on the Art Deco themes of the building. There is a large sitting area that is tastefully furnished with a copious amount of tables and chairs.




These Beautiful etched elevator doors are original

Extra Storage

Let’s face it, you can never have enough storage. Each Condo comes with a storage space on the second floor.




Dog Run

Eastern Columbia Lofts is very dog friendly. There are no restrictions on size or breed, the only rule is a maximum of two 2 pets.



Downtown Parking sucks. You have to pay $10 or $15 to park in a private lot, meters are very tough to get, and you have to be careful to watch the time so when rush hour comes and you have to move your car,, you don’t get towed. And with all the parking lots being snatched up by developers lately, parking isn’t getting any easier. Every condo comes with at least 1 parking space, the larger condos have two. The parking is assigned parking in a private garage. The price for the parking spot is covered in the HOA dues. It is possible to rent an extra space at an additional cost.


Eastern Columbia Lofts has a very organized and active HOA. The HOA has their own website:

HOA Dues range from $800-$1,000 a month. Not a bad price for all the amenities. Keep in mind since the building has a Mills Act , you get significant savings on your property tax which lowers the overall cost of ownership.

HOA dues include: Water, trash, A/C and building insurance, Window Washing

Owner is responsible for: Condo Insurance, Electricity, Gas, Internet, Cable

Legal Note: The HOA is currently in mediation with the developer over construction defects. The defects concern only the common areas, and not inside individual condo units. The areas under investigation are the building exterior, the plumbing and electrical. This lawsuit makes it difficult to finance currently until it is resolved. It is important to note that the building is safe, usable and accessible.

HOA Contact Information:

Front Desk

Action Property Management
Phone: (800) 400-2284
Fax: (949) 450-0303
2603 Main Street, Suite 500
Irvine, CA 92614


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Whitley Heights



Whitley Heights
Zip Codes: 90068

whitley heights real estate for sale


Whitley Heights is bordered by Hollywood to the south, Hollywood Dell to the East, Hollywood Heights to the West, and the Cahuenga Pass to the north.

Whitley Heights has easy access to the 101 freeway which is great for regular commuters who travel between Studio City/the Valley, and Hollywood/the Westside, or for going Downtown. Whitley Height residents can take advantage of its close proximity to Hollywood Boulevard, which has a plethora of dinning, shopping, bars, and nightclubs. Some of my personal favorite spots on Hollywood Blvd are the Hollywood and Highland Shopping Center, Lucky Strike Bowl, The Pantages Theater, The Egyptian Theater, Musso and Franks, the Roosevelt Hotel, Katsuya, and Piano Bar.

Hollywood Bowl

In addition most residents in Whitley heights can walk to the Hollywood Bowl.

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460 S Spring St | Rowan Lofts



Rowan Lofts
460 S Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

 Rowan Lofts curb shot


Rowan Lofts is located in the old bank district of downtown Los Angeles on the northeast corner of 5th and Spring. This area of Downtown is relatively safe and walk-able- there are several great restaurants, bars, and shops within a 5 minutes walk from Rowan Lofts. You have plenty of options for where to grab a bite to eat, or venues to choose if you want to have a night out with friends from the bustling after dark scene. Check out nearby Buzz Wine Beer Shop which has regular tastings, or the last bookstore across the street. Rowan is right in the middle of the action during the monthly downtown art walk

spring street park downtown los angeles

Spring Street Park is next store! Spring Street Park is  0.7 acres and cost $8M to build. The park includes a walking loop, a grassy lawn, and a kids play gym for local residents to enjoy. Rowan faces its sister building to the north El Dorado lofts. Additionally this location is two blocks from Metrolink and short walk to downtown’s Sunday Farmers Market.

 rowan condos exertior


Rowan Lefts is a condo conversion project that transformed office space into residential lofts. The conversion was completed in 2008.  There are 206 units on 12 floors.

Circa 1912, Rowan lofts is sure to please buyers looking for a Historic downtown Los Angeles Condo. The original character of the building was kept intact when modernizing it. Units offer all the modern creature comforts we are accustom to –Central heat/air conditioning, New Kitchens with Scavolini Cabinets, in unit stackable washer/dryer (European style ventless machines), Bosch dishwasher with hidden panel, and recessed lighting.

Rowen Building Kitchen los angeles downtown

rowanlofts dishwasher

 Watch Video of the Restoration work!


Meanwhile, the developers revitalized the copious amounts of carrera marble that festoons the floors and walls of the lobby and hallways. This marble is the same marble in the Vatican!

Rowen Lofts carrera marble hallways

Rowan Lofts Hallway

rowan building lobby

Rowan Lofts Lobby

I love the nickel and silver detailed Art Deco Elevator Doors in the Lobby that were preserved! They don’t make them like that anymore.

Art Deco Elevator doors Rowan lofts

They kept the copper and brass stair case banisters.

Rowan lofts railings and banister

And finally, the Guatemalan mahogany sash windows. These massive 4’x8 ‘ windows were painstakingly restored- this windows cannot be replaced today. The high ratio of window to square footage gives Rowan units exceptional natural light. The sash windows opened to provide natural airflow. Rowan units on high floors facing out have spectacular downtown city views.

rowan lofts windows

These lofts were built with quality. $7,500 worth of sound insulation went into every unit. They have 1 inch of sound proofing in between the floor, insulation in ceilings and walls and there are double walls between units. The building was reinforced with steel and concrete to make the building earthquake safe.

Premier finishes were used. Toto fixtures, rain shower, and deep soaking tub in the bathroom. Scavolini Italian cabinetry and Granite or Caesarstone counter tops in the kitchen. Rich birchwood chocolate or blonde  flooring throughout.

rowan lofts kitchen

Exposed brick walls lay the perfect backdrop for decorating, and preserve an historic urban feel. Ceilings are 10 feet high on most floors, making these units feel extra spacious. The floorplan are true loft style, completely open, the bedrooms do not have walls. This flexible space gives owner total freedom to imagine how they want to arrange their space. Some owners prefer to enclose their bedrooms, they have accomplished this in a number of imaginative ways.

Floor Plans

 Square footage ranges from 1,200 sqft-1,000sqft for 2brs, 1,000-800 sqft for 1brs, and 750sqft  to 450 sqft for studios. There are 6 town house units (101-106) on the ground level, and 8 penthouses. Penthouse have fifteen foot ceilings and skylights.


Spring is one of my favorite DTLA streets. During the first fifty years of the twentieth century, Spring Street was a-chatter with the hustle and bustle of financial boom town- Los Angeles. Rowan Lofts is one of 23 historic financial buildings that are the old bank district. Many of these historic early 20th century commercial building are going through conversions for residential use.

The Rowan building  was designed by famous LA architect John Parkinson and G. Edwin Bergstrom. Parkinson designed 10 buildings in the bank district, as well as iconic LA buildings such as the Memorial Coliseum, City Hall, union station, and the Alexandria Hotel kitty corner across the street.

 Rowan lofts courtyard

Rowan is a Courtyard style building. There is open space in the center lets light filter in from the sky inside and you get airy feeling halls.

rowan lofts cornice

Rowan is a beau arts style building clad in brick and terra cotta facade. The cornices are intricate with floral and egg and dart patterns, and there are ornate cast iron rosettes that hang.



Robert Rowan Los Angeles Developer

This portrait of Robert Rowan hangs in the Resident’s Lounge in Rowan Lofts

The Rowan gets its name from its famed builder, real estate developer Robert A. Rowan [1875-1918]. Rowan was a second generation developer, his father George Rowan was one of the pioneers of development in Los Angeles. George owned a large portfolio of properties on Broadway which at the time was called Fort Street. Rowan began his real estate career at 22, first working for William May Garland for several years before going on his own in 1901 and later forming R.A. Rowan & Company with a few of his brothers in 1905.  Robert came from a family of eight and he had five brothers and two sisters.

R. A. Rowan & Co. did an enormous amount of building downtown.  They are responsible for the Alexandria Hotel, the Los Angeles Athletic Club, the Rosslyn Hotel, the Security building, Merchants National Bank Building, the Title Insurance building, the Title Guarantee Building and a number of other historic buildings downtown. Rowan  also developed the residential community of Windsor Square (approximately 200 acres).

At the time Rowan was built, it was an office building and housed some of Los Angeles’s most prestigious law firms and stock brokerages. Like many buildings in the historic core, the Rowan fell into disrepair. Goodwin Gaw, President of Downtown Properties saw an opportunity to create this unique urban living environment.



Robert Rowan Los Angeles Developer

Rowan Lofts offers residents some really nice amenities. There is a 24-hour front desk which is great for security, the lobby has a receiving area that is simply jaw dropper! Great for creating impressions. There is a residents lounge with kitchenette, Flat Screen TV, Wifi internet, and Mens and womens bathrooms on the 2nd floor that can be reserved for gatherings and private parties. No comment on interior design choice for the chains hanging from the walls…

rowan party room

Residents Lounge

And there is a patio area with two built-in gas barbecues, tables and chairs, and a hot and cool spa.

Rowan BBQ and Pool

Owners may rent storage spaces downstairs for additional storage at a cost of $65/mo. The storage spaces are 5x5x8


There are few decorating ideas to consider when furnishing your new Rowan loft. The first is in the kitchen. Some owners like to have a rolling island to increase counter space and add extra storage:

rolling kitchen island

while others choose a formal dinning room table.

wood table

Many of the floor plans in Rowan have an open bedroom. If you wish to enclose the bedroom for more privacy many owners use a room divider, wall, curtain or other means to do so.


Price Range: $600,000 to $1,000,000


Home owners dues are ~$500/mo (but add $150 or more for parking)

There is No EQ insurance

Pet policy?

HOA dues cover- gas, water, trash, insurance + Maintenance (window cleaning included)

HOA do not cover- Elec., Cable, or internet


Parking Garage rowan lofts

Parking isn’t ideal (as is often the case Downtown), but it works. Parking is not deeded. Rowan lofts purchased the exclusive right for its owners to park in the garage next store forever. Owners cross an ally that is closed off on both sides to the parking garage. Owners have the choice to rent a Parking space in the garage next store if they want. Parking is additional cost on top of the HOA dues. You may choose to pay $175/ mo. to have an unreserved parking space, or $225 /mo to have a reserved space, or $325 for Tandem reserved.

No Guest parking.

Some general advice, when you are viewing a unit in Rowan or anywhere downtown. Be careful parking on the street! you may get towed if you are outside of the allowed parking hours (even if there is a meter!), parking in a lot ($10-$15) is a small expense, and it can save you from having a nasty surprise when you are done with the showing.

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Spaulding Square

Spaulding Square bungalows for sale

Spaulding square is quaint residential hideaway nestled in prime Hollywood/ West Hollywood. Spaulding Square is composed of 160 historic homes that are mostly one-story, arts and crafts bungalows, with common front yard setbacks, gabled roofs, porches, and white picket fences. The neighborhood definitely has a hometown USA vibe.

Spaulding Sqaure Survey

Spaulding Square’s boundaries are sunset boulevard and Fountain Avenue and Fairfax Avenue and Spaulding Avenue Spaulding Square gets its name from its developer A.S. Spaulding who subdivided and built the neighborhood between 1916 and 1926. He acquired the land in 1910 but it didn’t sell well until after World War I ended. Spaulding recognized the great growth potential of the area because it was located just off the Hollywood Line of the pacific Electric railroad and nearby to studios of the burgeoning film industry.

sunset pacific electric railway

Pacific Electric Railway

Pacific Electric Railway map

The Pacific electric railroad line at that time stretched from downtown to the ocean, connecting every town along the route. At Highland Avenue the line ran diagonal south for the Hollywood Boulevard line to join the Santa Monica Boulevard line. This diagonal section of track criss-crossed the South East corner of Spaulding Square.

 Spaulding Square Pacific Electric Railway

A Hollywood movie boom brought jobs and a need for housing. Two studios that were built nearby were United Artists Studios, and Chaplan Studios. Spaulding Square was a convenient locale for people working at the studios. Many of the early residents of Spaulding Square were silent film stars and directors. Celebrities who once called Spaulding Square home include: Lucille Ball, Hugo Hass, Harold Bucquet, Daniel Fapp, Raymond Hatton, Billy Benedict, Alan Hale Jr. (skipper on Guilligan’s Island), Additional, Spaulding Square is a popular film location these days. Movies such as “Nightmare on Elm Street” (1428 N Genesee Ave) ,

Nightmare on elm street

Nightmare on Elm Street House

and “The Wedding Singer” were filmed there as well as numerous TV episodes, such as most recently “True Blood”.


Every house in Spaulding Square has its own charm. The neighborhood is extremely well maintained. The houses are predominantly single story postwar clapboard bungalows, with covered porches, square or round columns, and symmetric facades. Colonial is the most prevalent them, however there are houses with Spanish, Tudor, Craftsman, and Dutch Colonial architectural elements that gives each block a lot of variety.

Spaulding Square HPOZ sign

Spaulding Square was designated a HPOZ in 1993.

The Spaulding Square HPOZ Board, meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month, though meetings are canceled if there are no business items to discuss. Meetings take place at the Hollywood-Wilshire City Hall, at 6501 West Fountain Avenue, Los Angeles, CA

NEIGHBORHOOD   The neighborhood has a very active neighborhood council. The council petitioned the city to install ~35 old style street lamps and planted over 100 trees beautifying the streetscape. . There are couple of big events in the nieghorhood each year put on by the council. They host a neighborhood garage sale in May, and a block party called Harvest Festival in October.

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1424 N Crescent Heights Blvd | Granville Towers

Granville Towers
1424 N Crescent Heights Blvd
West Hollywood 90046

Granville Towers is a 40 condo full-service Historic High-rise in West Hollywood. Built-in 1930 by Samuel Coins, this grand dame offers plenty of vintage ‘Old Hollywood’ charm. For heavens sakes, there is a baby grand piano and a crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling in the lobby! Marilyn Monroe once lived here.

Prominent local architect Leland Bryant designed the Granville Towers. Granville Towers stands in French Normandy Revival splendor- characterized by a steeply pitched hipped slate roof, with dormers, vertically aligned steel casement windows, finial posts, large interior chimneys and decorative masonry block quoining. Fans of Leland Bryant will recognize several other buildings he designed nearby: Sunset Tower Hotel, La Fontaine, Harper House, Colonial House, and Country Club Manor.

Over the years, 1424 N Crescent Heights has undergone several transformations. Originally built as “Voltaire Apartments” for movie industry people in the 30’s, for a while it metamorphosis as a hotel, until finally in 1988, it underwent condo conversion at a cost of $5M.

The entire building has a Mills Act Contract so owners enjoy a 50% reduction in their property taxes.


Granville Towers is located at the intersection of Sunset Blvd and Crescent Heights. North of Sunset, Crescent Heights winds off into the Hollywood Hills, and Laurel Canyon goes over the mountains to Studio City in the Valley.

Right next to Granville Towers is 8000 Sunset, a mid-size shopping mall that has a Trader Joe’s, Malibu Fish Grille, Starbucks, Movie Theater and Crunch Gym. The location was once home to the legendary Garden of Alla Hotel before it was demolished. You might be sad to hear that the Garden of Alla is gone, but The Chateau Marmot is still alive and kicking, with an Andre Balaz restaurant and moderne bar. Hyde nightclub, Greenblatt’s Deli, and Laugh Factory are few other hangouts. 


Record Sale? $1,948,955 8/30/2007

Turnover Ratio? 7.5% or about 3 condos a year

Appreciation? 5%

The Granville is separated into the North Tower and South Tower. All units with Odd numbers (1,7,9) are in the South tower, and all units with even numbers are in the north tower (0,4,8).

There are only 3 condos on each floor, so there is not a lot of commotion from coming and going between neighbors. Each tower has a classical wood paneled elevator with brass handles. Between condos there are minimal shared common walls, so the condos are quite private.

Since the building is Historic the exterior can never be changed, however as a homeowner you can do pretty much whatever you want inside your unit. The Penthouses on the 7th floor have very cool loft areas. None of the condos have balconies. Want to get some fresh air? Behind the property is an expansive formal English garden with manicured lawns, trimmed box hedges, and a fountain for some truly enchanting outdoor space. 

The Floorplans are all single story and range from 800 sqft -1,800 sqft. Floorplans are primarily 1br and 2br. The 1 stack has 3bedroom condos. Following the classical aesthetics, condos have a foyer/formal entry to receive guests and make an impression. The condos have 9 foot high ceilings for a dash of drama. Kitchens are on the smaller side but practical, with a stacked washer/dryer hidden in there somewhere. Closets are a bit small by today’s standards but are what you would expect for a building of this era. The Bedrooms get some nice light. 


1BR (#9 Stack)
900 sqft

2BRs (,#0,#4,#7,#8)
1,100 sqft – 1,550 sqft
$600,000- $800,000

3Brs (#1)
1,800 sqft
$1,100,000 -$1,200,000

$1,300,000 – $1,500,000 


-24-hour concierge/front doorman and security cameras in the building lobby.

-Expansive Grounds (The Granville lot is on a 2/3rds of acre)

-Dog Run in the back of property

 -The property also has a maintenance employee who is onsite 6 hours a day if you have any repair issue.

Parking & Laundry

There are about 40 parking spaces total. 1 parking space for each condo (if you need more parking- you can get a parking permit to park on Crescent Heights). Parking is assigned and not deeded parking. There is an upper garage (about 20 spaces) and lower garage (about 20 spaces).

Since the lower garage has a staircase to climb up to the lobby and no elevator, the upper garage is more desirable. Unfortunately for new owners, their assigned parking space will always be in the lower garage, even if the condo that is selling currently has a parking space assigned to the upper garage. The reason for this is because there is a waitlist. Owners in the lower garage may put tehmselves on a waitlist for an uppergarage space when it becomes available. The list is based on seniority, with owners who have been waiting hte longest at the top of the list and new owners at the bottom. If stairs from the lower garage are an issue, this building may not be a great fit. There are 5 guest parking spots in a parking pad in front of the building.

Laundry is inside, in the kitchen area of each condo. There is space for a stacked gas washer dryer. 


Home Owners Association

Front desk phone#? 323-650-8850 

HOA dues Monthly Cost? $1,100/mo. Remember that the building has lower property taxes (about half), which really lowers the holding cost. 

HOA dues cover? Water, Trash, Building Insurance, Staff, Reserves

Owner Pays? Electricity, Gas, Internet Cable, Condo Insurance

Any special assessments? No

Pet Policy?

Rental Policy?

EQ Insurance? No

Building Reserves?

Property Management Company?

Property Resources Management



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6253 Hollywood Blvd | The Lofts at Hollywood and Vine



Equitable Building 1937

Lofts at Hollywood and Vine
6253 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles CA 90028

Lofts at Hollywood and Vine is a 12 story Historic High-rise in Hollywood. Built in 1929 by Drug Store magnate Sam Kress, it was original purposed as an office tower, that Kress planned to be the wall street stock exchange of the west.


The building became known as the Equitable Building shortly after it was built in 1931. It got this name because the building’s largest tenant was the Equitable insurance company.

Aleck Curlett was the architect of the building. Curlett designed it in a Gothic/Art Deco style. Aleck Curlett also designed the Park Plaza Hotel in MacArthur Park and the Irving Thalberg Building at MGM.


Gothic Gargoyles

If you look up from the street you can still see the hand carved gargoyles, standing watch, chasing away evil spirits. There is a repeating pattern of floral ornamentation, and a mansard copper roof, in addition to the Electric Flashing Patron Tequila Billboard that tops the building these days.

In 2007, developer the Palisades Development Group spent $50 million renovating and converting the office tower in 60 loft style condos. Killefer Flammang Architects presided over the conversion. The condos are Live/Work Lofts.




The Lofts at Hollywood and Vine is located on the Hollywood walk of fame at the northeast corner of Hollywood and Vine in prime Downtown Hollywood. Broadway Lofts and the W Hollywood  are two nearby condominium building neighbors.

The Metro Red Line station is within walking distance. The Lofts at Hollywood and Vine ground level retail. The names change, but there is always a pub restaurant occupying the ground floor. It currently is Taps 33.

There is a Starbucks across the street, and a Trader Joe’s about a block down at Selma and Vine. Hollywood has a farmers market every Saturday on Ivar. Hollywood Blvd has a ton of entertainment- with clubs, restaurants, music venues, and bars. Hollywood classics Ameoba records, the Pantages, and Arc Light cinemas are close. There are plenty of gym options as well with La Fitness son El Centro and Equinox.

Hip urban living at its finest!

Real Estate

Floorplans are true loft with not wall separating bedrooms. Some of the floorplans are single level (1,2,3) and some are townhouse (4,5,6,7,8,9) style layouts. There are no Balconies. Condos 302,303,304,307,308 have mezzanines.

Condo Mix:

1br (27) 750 sqft – 900 sqft

2 br (33) 1,000 sqf – 1750 sqft

There is no formal penthouse level per say. There are only 3 condos on the 12th floor and none of the floorplans on the 11th or 12th floors are combined to create larger condos than on lower floors.

The condos feel very industrial chic with high ceilings, concrete floors, and exposed ducting. Kitchens are white on white, with white European style cabinets, and white quartz counters. The developer went a step above and beyond on the appliances, equipping residences with Stainless-steel Viking Gas Stoves, Fridges, and oven hoods. Continuing the white theme, the Bathrooms have white Ann Sacks tiles. The lofts have a clean, gallery-inspired aesthetic. Main bedroom has a nice size walk in closet.

Since this building is a high-rise, there are views, views, views.


1BR: $500,000 – $600,000

2BR: $700,000 – $800,000

Turnover Ratio? unknown

Record Sale $1,249,000   7/24/2007

Appreciation: unknown






-24 Hour Valet & Front Desk




-Rooftop Sundeck (with Barbecue and Firepit)

-Storage Space

Parking & Laundry


Parking in Lofts at Hollywood and Vine can be tough. The Building has no Parking garage inside. Instead the building operates a parking lot nextstore to the building that owners can lease spots in. The Parking lot has car hoists to increase its capacity. Owners get the right to rent either 1 or 2 parking spaces in the parking lot depending on the size of the condo and whether they want them or not. Parking is $242/mo. per parking space and NOT Included in HOA dues. No Guest Parking.

Laundry is in each unit. Stacked ductless washer and dryer.

Home Owners Association

HOA dues Monthly Cost? $800/mo. – $900/mo.

HOA dues cover? Water, Electric (1 electric meter for entire building), Trash, Building Maintenance, Building Insurance, EQ insurance, Reserves

Owner Pays For? Parking, Gas, Internet, Cable, Condo Insurance

any special assessments? No

Pet Policy?

Rental Policy?

EQ Insurance? Yes

Building Reserves?

Special move in instructions?

Management company?

Front desk phone number?



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Melrose Hill

Melrose hill sign

Snuggled in between Hollywood, Little Armenia and Korea-town is a quaint Historic neighborhood known as Melrose Hill. Running along the 4900 Block of Marathon and Melrose Hill Street, this neighborhood is a small pocket with only 42 homes.

Melrose Hill Neighborhood Map

Walking the neighborhood would take a brisk 10-15 minutes, the trek runs a half mile. Melrose Hill averages about 2 home sales a year. All homes in Melrose Hill qualify for the Mills Act. A fun fact, the only smaller HPOZ in Los Angeles than Melrose Hill is Van Buren Place. Prices in Melrose Hill skyrocketed during the real estate boom in 2006 moving prices up above the $1M high water mark, coming from the $400,000’s in early 2002. Recently prices have come back to the $600,000-$800,000 level, this location is a great buy for thos buyers who like historic neighborhood but are priced out of Hancock Park.

melrose hill bungalow

Melrose Hill is notable for its numerous examples of Historic California Bungalows, specifically Craftsman and Colonial Revival styles. California Bungalows are 1 story homes, approx~ 1,400 sqft, 2Br, 1.5 Ba, year built between 1910 and 1930. The floor plan of California bungalows usually incorporates a large living room entered directly from the front door. The focal point of the living room is a fireplace, which usually had a mantel or decorative tile (such as Batchelder Tile). The name Bungalow traces its orgins to Bengal, where Bungalow is derived from the Hindi word bangla which means house. The thatched roof bangla were retrofitted by the colonial British to serve as administrative buildings and summer retreats. The Bungalow boom in California started after San Francisco Architects brought the style to US in the early 1900’s. The Bungalow style of architecture became very popular, supply a demand of a new growing middle class that needed affordable housing. A bungalow could be built inexpensively (anywhere between $900 and $3,500), and assembled by mail order plans.

The Melrose Hill neighborhood was built between 1911 and 1926, at the height of the popularity of the California bungalow. Nearly half of homes in the neighborhood were designed and constructed by the Briggs Company, whose president, Sidney L. Briggs, was the principal developer of the subdivision.

This tiny pocket is a great area for first time home buyers, the homes are affordable and hold value well. Melrose Hill is like an urban oasis. If you like Melrose Hill you might also like to check St. Charles Place and Lafayette Square.

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What the Mills Act means for Historic Properties

The Mills Act is a California Statewide program that gives Property owners of Historic Homes, who are eligible and enroll in the program, large annual property tax savings (Average property taxes savings from the Mills Act program is 50%!). This program is only for qualifying Historic Properties. The tax savings are intended to be used to restore and preserve historic properties. Each Municipality in the state is responsible for administering its own historic preservation program – so qualifying requirements for the Mills Act will vary from city to city around the state. Beverly Hills, for example, has paid very little attention to Historic Preservation– only starting their historic program in the early 90s, and they have only identified (42) properties in the whole city as historic- everything else could one day be demolished. There is an old joke about this- In Beverly Hills- historic preservation is taking a picture first before you tear the building down. The Mills Act program in Los Angeles does not have any auditing or enforcement departments (Probably because there is no budget for it) so the tax savings are extended on a good faith basis. The lack of oversite is beneficial for LA owners because you don’t have to deal with a bunch of red tape and you can use your property taxes savings however you wish. 

The Mills Act (California Government Code, Article 12, Section 50280 – 50290) was enacted in 1972 by the State of California to preserve Historical Properties. The Act is named after the author of the legislation — historian, statesman, and longtime California State Senator Jim Mills from San Diego.  

Qualifying Properties:

 To qualify for the Mills Act Program in Los Angeles your property must be either:

1)    a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM)

2)    or A Contributing Structure in a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ)

There are far more contributing structures in HPOZs (35 designated districts and approximately X contributing homes) than HCMs (1180 total and growing by 5-10/ year on average- although about half of them are commercial and not residential properties) in Los Angeles so contributing structure in an HPOZ is the most common way properties qualify for the Mills Act.

Is my property a Contributing or Non-contributing structure in my HPOZ?

Under the HPOZ (Ordinance No 175891) to even become an HPOZ, the majority of homes in the neighborhood must be contributing structures. So the odds are in your favor if you own a home in an HPOZ that it is a contributing structure. The average percentage of dwellings within an HPOZ that are contributing is 65.8%. The percentage of contributing structures varies from a high of 98.6% in the South Carthay HPOZ to a low of 48.5% in the HighlandPark HPOZ.

You can make an educated guess whether a property is contributing by using your intuition – does the property look historic?

Contributing Structures are Historic and Non-Contributing structures are Not Historic. To be historic in real estate terms, properties need to be at least 50 years old (sorry no ‘instant classics’ here). So brand new construction is never contributing. Let’s take a look at an example- above there are three homes in the Spaulding Square HPOZ which is known for 1920s-1930s era colonial revival bungalows mainly craftsmen style. Can you spot the Non-Contributing Structure from Above? Is it #1,#2, or #3? 

If you are relying on the contributing or non-contributing information to make a purchase decision, you will need to check officially. Locate the Survey Map for the HPOZ in question and it will either have a list or a map that you can use to ID the target property.

Here is an example of a Contributing Structure List for the Rossmoyne Historic District of Glendale:

Here is an example of a Survey Map from the City of LA for the Adams – Normandie HPOZ:

Contributing structures are color-coded dark Tan and Non-Contributing are color-coded Light Yellow.  When in doubt- you can always call and talk to someone in the Historic Preservation office to confirm contributing status by the address.

Properties with assessed values above $1,500,000 for Single Family Residences and $3,000,000 for multifamily/commercial buildings have stricter qualifying requirements. These more expensive properties are required to apply for an exemption with the Cultural Heritage Commission. The City’s view is that owners of more expensive properties are wealthy and don’t need the savings as much as property owners below the threshold. In addition, the state loses more tax revenue on more expensive homes than less expensive homes, so they like to give the contract less to the more expensive ones.  

It is important to hurry and complete your contract if you are considering to apply for the program because the city of Los Angeles is capping the amount of property tax revenue it will lose from Mills Act contracts at $1,000,000. I can tell you that we are somewhere near $750,000 at the moment, and at the current rate of applications, Los Angeles will reach its Cap- so don’t wait, if you don’t get your application finished in the future, the opportunity to participate in this program may be gone.

How Much Can I save with the Mills Act?

As I said at the beginning, the average savings from a Mills Act Contract is about 50% of your total current property tax bill. 50% is a good default estimate of the savings.

How does the Mills Act lower your taxes? The Mills Act changes the way your assessed tax value is calculated. For tax purposes the lower assessed value the lower taxes. Taxpayers want lower assessed values and the government wants higher assessed values and higher taxes

The regular method the state levies property taxes is at 1.25% the assessed value. With the Mills Act, the assessed value for calculating taxes is changed from the existing assessed value (for new owners the price they paid for the property, for long term owners their most recent assessment value which Proposition 13 caps at a max 2% per year) to the income-based method of valuation for the assessed value. You don’t really need to understand the reason why the income-based method of valuation is lower than the traditional assessed value approach, you just need to know that it means significantly lower taxes. If you are curious about how to calculate this for yourself here is an example. 

Example Scenario: A New Buyer just purchased a $1,400,000 Historic home and is considering applying for a Mills Act contract. The house was rented by the previous owner for $6,200/mo. before the tenant left and he sold it. His current tax bill is $17,500 how much would be his potential savings with a Mills Act Contract?


tax assessed value = $ 1,400,000

Property Tax Rate = .0125

($ 1,400,000 x 0.0125)

Current tax Bill = $ 17,500


Income-Base Method of Valuation:

Monthly Rent: $6,200

($ 6,200 X 12 mo.)

Annual Gross income = $ 74,400

Less Operating expenses = $ 8,000

(insurance, repairs, utilities, management fees)

($74,400 – $8,000 = $64,400)

Net income = $ 64,400

Capitalization rate CONSTANT = 13.66% (Breakdown: Interest component at 6.75%,Historic property risk component at 4%,Amortization component at 1.67%,Property tax component at 1.24% = 13.66%)

($64,400/ .1366 = $468,521)

New Assessed Value = $468,521

Property Tax Rate: .0125 

($ 486,090 x 0.0125 = $6,076)

Mills Act taxes = $ 6,076

Annual tax of $6,076 and a TOTAL SAVINGS OF $ 11,423 annually or 66%  from $17,500 in this fictious example. 

The key to calculating the income approach is determining the rental price. If you are unsure of the rental price ask a real estate agent, use, or search online for comparable rentals. 

What are the terms of a Mills Act Contract?

Mills Act contracts are 10-year rolling contracts, meaning a contract automatically renews each year on its anniversary date to a new 10-year term. This means that you have to wait 9 years after giving 90-notice October 1 of non-renewal of your Mills Act contract before you officially end the program. Most owners who get a Mills Act never want to let it go because of the significant tax savings and its a selling point that adds property value. Mills Acts transfer to the new buyer as part of a sale. 

Mills Act Property owners agree to restore, maintain, and protect their property in accordance with specific historic preservation standards and conditions identified in the contract. If a property under a Mills Act becomes delapated the city can cancel the contract with 60-day notice for breach and that will trigger the 12.5% contract cancellation fee. The contract transfers with a sale and is binding to all successive owners. The State has the right to inspect the property once every 5 years (they don’t do this but have the authority to). 

Note: The cost of canceling the contract is immense- 12.5% of the assessed value of the property.

Note: Mills Acts contracts Start Jan 1 of any given year, so if you are thinking about applying for a mills act in Oct, Nov, Dec you need to hurry if you’d like to finish before Jan 1. 

How Do I Apply for the Mills Act?

You can apply for the Mills Act yourself by following the directions of your cities historic preservation program. 

I recommend consulting with and/or hiring a Mills Act Preparer to help you prepare your Mills Act application. Mills Act Preparers is a “cottage industry” that has sprung up in recent years, with a handful of people who specialize in preparing Mills Act applications for historic homeowners.  Prices can vary but are generally $3,000 – $5,000 range. A Mills Act contract usually covers this fee and then some in the first year.  

**The answer to the Spaulding Square question is #3 is the non-contributing structure.**




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