Malibu-based real estate sponsor and manager Christina Development Corp. has closed its Christina Real Estate Investors 4 fund, for which it raised $44.1 million from more than 150 investors.
Lawrence Taylor, the company’s founder and chairman, said his goal with Christina Real Estate Investors 4 is “to essentially bring real estate investment to the undeserved investment community.”
“(Unlike) unique stocks or bonds or mutual funds, those typical investments that people can access easily either through their own apps or investment managers … real estate has never been accessible as an investment,” he said.
The fund launched in 2019 and has since acquired six multifamily properties and one retail project in L.A., focused on the Westside. Investors do not invest in a specific property but rather the fund.
Taylor said he has found people “want to own something tangible,” which makes them interested in investing in the fund.
Taylor said the 2012 passage of the Jobs Act — signed into law by then-President Barack Obama — enabled the company to acquire funding online from investors and to advertise nationwide.
“It’s the most desirable form of investment (but) is the least understood,” he added.
Investors, Taylor said, see the appreciation and leverage you can get owning real estate but don’t always know how to purchase and run the real estate themselves.
Investing in a fund removes this concern while allowing a person to make an investment.
Christina Development is focused on the Westside, where “for 45 years we’ve never done anything except continually make profits for ourselves and our investors,” Taylor said, calling the area home to “the best real estate in the world.”
The company is also focused on real estate that comes available for reasons such as death, divorce and partnerships dissolving because “great real estate rarely, if ever, becomes available. If it does, it’s usually because of a specific act,” according to Taylor.
“We look for disposition opportunities that arise from specific events. In those situations, particularly when there’s a death and an estate settlement and an estate tax, there has to be a distribution of assets to pay,” he added.
The multifamily properties in the fund include 61 apartment units near CBS Television City, 22 condominiums that will soon be built in West Hollywood and a 15-acre beachfront property in Playa del Rey.
Christina Development is also working on the Larchmont Mercantile, a large retail project in the Larchmont Village Shopping District. The company started renovating the site in January after the property’s existing tenant leases expired.
The project, which is located at 124 1/2 -148 N. Larchmont Blvd., is being designed by Gensler. It has 14 continuous retail storefronts totaling more than 17,000 square feet.
“It’s going to be a triumph for Larchmont Village,” Taylor said of the property, which was originally built in the 1920s.
Holey Grail Donuts and Skin Laundry have already signed on as tenants.
Taylor said the project will be enticing to shoppers because it is a very pedestrian-friendly street.
He said he has seen a lot of interest from retailers.
“It’s really been pretty good momentum, and rents are stable or better than they were pre-Covid,” Taylor said, adding that he would be interested in investing in more retail properties.
“I’m always on the lookout for opportunities to expand the retail portfolio,” he said.
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