The Casa Del West apartments were acquired in 1998. Originally
constructed in 1928, upon acquisition the property and common
areas were in a major state of neglect. The property is bordered
on two sides by Lafayette Square, a gated community, which had
once been one of L.A.'s most fashionable neighborhoods until the
entire area precipitously declined in the 1960s and continued
as a high crime and drug area until the mid 90s. In the last four
years Lafayette Square and environs have experienced a dramatic
turnaround. Most of the estates have been fully restored and major
new development and rehab dollars have been invested consistent
with the work we performed upon Casa Del West. The neighborhood
upgrade has accelerated to such an extent that patent pockets
of crime, vandalism, and graffiti have been eliminated.
We performed a complete renovation of the nine two-story duplex
buildings and the common areas at Casa Del West. We applied concrete
to 80% of the parking area which accommodates 29 parking spaces,
restored the concrete walkways in the common area, applied an
attractive brick colored stamped concrete treatment at the entry
driveway. We installed a security pedestrian gate and traffic
gate at the entrance to the development. We installed a security
intercom access system at the entrance gate. We constructed a
curbed planter at the entrance, and installed a sprinkler system
throughout. All areas were sodded except for the perimeter of
the buildings and the main entry and adjacent individual entries
where lush landscaping was added. Security wood fences were constructed
in all open areas around the perimeter of the building and also
used to frame patio areas in the back entrance of all of the buildings.
New security lighting was added to the common areas and new entrance
lighting was added to the front door of each unit.
A comprehensive renovation was performed upon each unit. Each
building was reroofed. All window frames and door frames were
removed and new metal window frames and windows and solid core
doors were installed along with an additional metal screen entry
door on each unit. All exterior stucco was patched and repaired.
All exterior walls and ceilings were replastered. New kitchen
cabinets and counters were installed in ten units. New sinks,
hot water heaters, and stoves were installed in each kitchen.
New wall mounted heaters and ceiling fans were installed in each
living room. New sinks and toilets were installed in each bathroom.
New vinyl tile flooring was added to the entry foyer, bathroom,
and kitchen. New carpet was installed throughout the remainder
of the apartment. All electrical meters were relocated to the
outside of the units and a new electrical panel box was installed
for common area lighting. All units were converted from fuses
to circuit breakers, and every unit was rewired. On a phased basis
each unit's supply lines were replumbed. By the end of July 2003,
all will have been completed.
The upgrade of this property and the neighborhood has impacted
the demand and prices of our units. The property has been fully
leased since 2002, with occasional turnovers filled within a 30
day period. Rents have increased from $450 in 1998 to $875 as
of July 2003.