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7 Figure Manufactured Home Community Deal in LA “Opportunity Zone” Raises Questions

7FigureManufacturedHomeCommunityPhotoHollywoodBacklotHomesLogoDealLAOpportunityZoneRaisesQuestionsMHProNewsLogo

BusinessWire, a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary that handles press releases, reported on June 17, 2020 about “an approximately $36 million bridge loan for the acquisition and redevelopment of Hollywood Backlot Homes, a 10-acre manufactured home community aimed at fulfilling demand for attainable housing options in the Los Angeles market.”

The BusinessWire release had no photos or images beyond their logo, which is not necessarily unusual. The release names “3650 REIT” as the “originator” of the bridge loan which “carries a term of 30 months and is provided to sponsor Multi Opp, LLC, a joint venture between real estate development firms Dugally Oberfeld Capital Partners, LLC and Fabulous Five, LLC.”

The release continues: Located in an Opportunity Zone at 8250 Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood, California, Hollywood Backlot Homes will be operated as a detached multifamily rental community. The redevelopment program will involve the sponsor designing and installing nearly 140 manufactured homes. The master-planned community environment will provide renters with the comforts of class A multifamily amenities, including an outdoor pool, clubhouse, gym, billiards and gaming center, dog runs, barbeque and outdoor lounging area and gated entry. The community’s attainable price points will allow renters otherwise looking for an apartment to enjoy the privacy and extra space of a detached single-family home.”

Without photos, that statement might sound like the property “will” – possibly implying some that would occur in the future – “be operated as a detached multifamily rental community. The redevelopment program will involve the sponsor designing and installing nearly 140 manufactured homes.”

However, the evidence indicates that the property already has numerous manufactured homes already located on the property. While there may be additional work being done, the photo and satellite evidence suggests that a significant amount of this work was already well underway at the time that press release was issued.

HollywoodBeachResortPhotoHollywoodBacklotHomesLogoMHProNewsLogoReportFactCheck

The photos above and below are from the property website, not from the media statement.

HollywoodBackLotHomesLogoPoolAreaManufacturedHomesApartmentHomesPhotoManufacturedHousingProNewsFactCheckReportLogo6.22.2020

 

 

Information Beyond the Press Release Disconnects and Questions?

LoopNet contradicts the claim that the property was in an “Opportunity Zone.” By contrast, the Opportunity Zone designation is asserted by the press release by 3650 REIT. That has tax benefit and other possible ramifications.

 

HollywoodBacklotHomesRentalCommunityBusinessWireBerkshireHathawayLoopnetOpportunityZoneYesNoMHProNewsLogo2020-06-22_0741

 

Further research revealed that the property had older manufactured homes on site in 2017, as is indicated by this screen capture from real estate site RedFin.

RedFin8250LankershimBlvd#18-2020-06-22_0727ManufacturedHomeProNewsFactCheckAnalysisCommentary

MHVillage provided scant and apparently out-of-date information. Their photos were of the older property configuration, not the newly redeveloped one. That noted, it may prove useful depending on how details for a follow up on this report emerge.

 

MHVillageLogoHollywoodBackLotHomesOldPhoto8250LankdershireBlvdHollywoodLACA-MHProNewsFactCheckReport

 

The Hollywood Backlot Homes website includes this ‘resident’ statement, “New units are very modern. Old established units are in the back. Close to freeway. – Jonathan Aguirre, 2/24/2018.” That also indicates that the project is well underway, as opposed to being a new redevelopment project.

 

Requests for Clarification, Fact Checks and Analysis 

Several requests for clarification of the apparent disconnects have been sent out. In fairness, that occurred earlier this morning, before normal business hours. So it is not entirely surprising that no response has occurred prior to the time this report is being written.

The types of questions asked are reflected in this passage from an emailed message from MHProNews to one of several parties involved in the plan.

 

QuoteMark1ManufacturedHomeLivingNews“We are the manufactured home industry’s largest and most-read trade media. The BusinessWire report linked below was brought to my attention.

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200617005547/en/3650-REIT-Originates-36M-Loan-Acquire-Redevelop#:~:text=Located%20in%20an%20Opportunity%20Zone,installing%20nearly%20140%20manufactured%20homes.

In researching for a pending report, some apparent disconnects came to my attention, which I’m hoping you can clear up for me. In no specific order of importance.

  • The sub headline says this is a “190-lot manufactured home community located within North Hollywood opportunity zone,” however the article itself says it is 140 sites? Which is it?
  • LoopNet says that it is not an opportunity zone, but the press release asserts that it is.  Can you clear that up for me please?
  • The BusinessWire release makes it sound like the project “will” happen – implying a future event. But images I’m seeing from various sources indicate that this is well underway, if not nearing completion.

I realize that there are tax advantages with an Opportunity Zone, but the reporting is unclear at best when various sources are compared. Any light you can shed on this is valued…”

HollywoodBacklotsHomesPhotoGatedCommunityWikiManufacturedHomeApartmentCommunityLosAngelesCAMHProNews

Among the apparent disconnects in the various reports was one business news site that said that the featured image they used was a ‘rendering,’ but it appears in fact to be an aerial photograph.

HollywoodBacklotHomesAerialPhotoSanFernandoValleyBusinessJournalLogoScreenCaptureRentalHomesSlatedFOrNorthHollywoodMHProNewsFactCheckReport

That aerial photo conforms to the ground-level photos from the Hollywood Backlot homes website, shown previously above.

SatelliteView8250LandershimBlvdHollywoodBacklotHomesRentalCommunityMHProNews

Satellite images also indicate that the redevelopment is well underway.

This report and fact-check should be considered as interim until additional information is obtained from the sources contacted. An update is planned in the near future, as the issue of using Opportunity Zones is a trending topic in business, politics, and in public policy discussion.

6.23.2020 Update

2020-06-23_1639CaOpportunityZoneHollywoodBacklotHomesMapMHProNews

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All on Capitol Hill were welcoming and interested with the discussion of manufactured housing related issues on our 12.3.2019 meetings. But Texas Congressman Al Green’s office was tremendous in their hospitality. Our son’s hand is on a package that included the Constitution of the United States and other goodies. MHProNews has worked with people and politicos across the left-right divide.

By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHLivingNews.com.

Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing. For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com. This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.

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