BMW Property in Play?

Google Maps photo of the Beverly Hills BMW showroom at 5050-5070 Wilshire Blvd., between Citrus and Mansfield Aves.

A few days ago, area real estate agents were a bit surprised to receive a letter soliciting interest for “an extremely rare investment opportunity – over four acres of land on Wilshire Blvd. in the heart of Los Angeles.”  That alone would usually prick up the ears of many developers and local residents, but when the letter went on to say, “The property is currently operating as Beverly Hills BMW, but there is a tremendous multifamily redevelopment opportunity,” the recipients and neighbors became even more  curious.  The BMW dealership has only been open on Wilshire since 2011, and it made a large investment  in the property, building a whole new facility (a showroom on the south side of Wilshire, at Citrus Ave., and a service center on the north side, between Sycamore and Orange Dr.) before moving in.

Also, since Beverly Hills BMW’s parent company, Sonic Automotive, which owns a large number of automotive dealerships across the country,  originally leased the land from Ehlers, Ltd. (which owned the old Ehlers Cadillac dealership that used to occupy the spaces)…people who received the investment letter also wondered whether the property is now being offered for sale, with the current lease still in effect…or whether it’s being offered for a re-lease or sublet to a new long-term tenant.

Curious about the current offer, we spoke yesterday with Bill Pedersen, of Matthews Real Estate Investment Services, who sent out the query letters and is representing the property.  Pedersen confirmed that Beverly Hills BMW has a 22-year lease on the properties, and that there are 10 years left on the lease.  Also, he confirmed, the properties are currently being listed for sale by the property owners, and marketed as a potential residential development opportunity in 10 years, when the BMW lease expires.

So for those who have been wondering, it does not sound like any changes at the site are imminent, and that any further developments will depend on whether the property sells, who buys it, and what they might want to do with it 10 years down the line.

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About Elizabeth Fuller

Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - first in the Sycamore Square neighborhood, and since 2012 in West Adams Heights/Sugar Hill. She was long-time board member of the Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association, currently serves on the board of the West Adams Heights/Sugar Hill Neighborhood Association, spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and is the co-owner/publisher of the Buzz.

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