WSJ: Playa Vista "Fills Up"

Published in The Wall Street Journal, by Robbie Whelan, Updated Nov. 28, 2012 3:43 p.m. ET


More buildings are set to rise in Playa Vista, one of the largest undeveloped areas left in Los Angeles, as developers turn their focus from the exurbs to the "infill."

Consisting of roughly 1,000 acres near Los Angeles International Airport, Playa Vista for decades was home to little more than an airplane runway and a hangar that at one point stored Howard Hughes' infamous "Spruce Goose" aircraft prototype. But over the past decade 2 million square feet of office space and more than 3,000 homes have been built.

Now a group of investors led by Brookfield Homes, of Fairfax, Va., has reached an agreement to pay more than $250 million for the remaining 110 acres of undeveloped land in Playa Vista, according to people familiar with the terms of the deal.

Brookfield, controlled by Canadian real-estate investment firm Brookfield Asset Management, plans to develop the site into 600 to 800 homes and 1,500 apartment units, while another real-estate firm, Lincoln Property Co., is planning a downtown-like "village" that includes a supermarket, movie theater, and office buildings. The Brookfield purchase hasn't been announced publicly because it hasn't been completed, these people said.

Brookfield is buying the land from Playa Capital, a development company owned by a partnership of pension funds and Wall Street firms including Goldman Sachs Group, Morgan Stanley and hedge-fund firm Oaktree Capital Management.

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