Home Buying in Los Angeles>Question Details

Brian J. Lee, Home Buyer in Los Angeles, CA

Buying a mixed-use R5. Is it possible to take off rental market to remodel into 3 unit live/work using adaptive reuse?

Asked by Brian J. Lee, Los Angeles, CA Sat Mar 9, 2013

4 units are currently tenant-occupied residential units on M2M with one vacant commercial space on the ground floor. The building was built in the mid-20's. The 4 residential units are less than 500 sq.ft. and in below average condition -- I'd like to gut the entire second floor and turn the upstairs into 2 live/work units, occupying one of the units myself. I'd also like to turn the downstairs commercial space into a live/work to broaden my potential pool of tenants.

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It all sounds good BUT before you do anything, you MUST check with the city for planning and permits, to do anything any other way is a waste of time, money and will result in legal issues.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 11, 2013
Unfortunately all the best laid plans get wasted away by legal regulations and ordinances. This a planning and zoning question best answered by the Planning department.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 9, 2013
It sounds like an interesting and creative way to create value to you and the neighborhood. You would need to check with the City's Planning Department and see if your plan matches their zoning ordinances.

The planning department has a counter at the Department of Building and Safety in Los Angeles and you can just walk to it.

If your question is regarding rent control, that is a little dicey. Yes, you can take the property out of the market for major rehab, but you have to offer it back to the original tenants once is back in the market at original rents +/- any capital improvements amortized over 20 or 30 years... you could take the portion you will occupy permanently from the market, but you will have to pay relocation fees. Well, you would have to pay relocation fees under any scenario. Remember that all of this is negotiable, and if you approach the tenants with a value proposition that makes sense to them and you respect their dignity, they will likely negotiate with you.

Before you do any of this, you should own the property... do you own it?

Ron Escobar, MBA
Broker & General Contractor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 9, 2013
sketch out your plan for the building and spend some time at the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety. They'll let you know how to accomplish what you want to do.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 9, 2013
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