LA briefs: Starwood bets big on West Hollywood hotel, Blackstone cashes out on three offices … & more

The James Hotel

CIM Group selling James hotel

The 286-room James hotel has yet to open, but it’s already on the chopping block. CIM Group is nearing a deal to sell the West Hollywood property to Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital for close to $975,000 a key, bringing the total sale price to nearly $280 million, though there is no hard contract yet. The 10-story, 235,000-square-foot hotel is part of a larger mixed-use project known as Sunset La Cienega. The larger complex, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, has 190 residential units and 40,000 square feet of retail, including a Fred Segal store. CIM partnered with Denihan Hospitality Group to build the James in 2013, making it the first new ground-up hotel in West Hollywood in three decades. If the deal between CIM and Starwood closes, it will approach the record set by hotelier Jeff Klein, who purchased an 80 percent stake in the Sunset Tower Hotel for almost $1.2 million a key. The Sunset Tower deal, which has yet to close, will set a price-per-key record for hotel sales in area, eclipsing Northwood Investors’ $975,000-per-room purchase of the London West Hollywood hotel.

Jay Z and Beyonce

Three’s a charm for Blackstone 

Spring cleaning at the Blackstone Group means a massive payday. The investment firm closed on the sale of a two-building portfolio in Santa Monica for $352.8 million. The buyer was a joint venture between Douglas Emmett Inc. and Qatar Investment Authority. One of the properties, a 205,700-square-foot building, traded for north of $1,300 a square foot, sources said, breaking the price-per-square-foot record in Santa Monica held by Oracle’s $368 million, or $1,165 a square foot, purchase of its office building last year. The other building, an 87,000-square-foot space, sold for about $850 a square foot, sources told The Real Deal. Blackstone also sold its two-thirds stake in the 39-story SunAmerica Center in Century City. While the price has yet to be confirmed, sources put the whole building’s value at over $825 million. The building’s other stakeholder, the Chicago-based firm JMB, now has full control of the office tower.

Beyoncé and Jay Z head west

The golden couple of music are rumored to have made a $120 million offer on an unfinished Bel Air spec mansion. The six-structure compound totals 30,000 square feet and has eight bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, four pools, a basketball court, a recording studio and staff quarters. Developer Tyrone McKillen of McKillen Developments — who is also the listing broker under the banner of Beverly Hills brokerage firm Hilton & Hyland — spent about four years constructing the compound. He purchased the site for $15 million in 2013 when it was occupied by a 9,400-square-foot Colonial Revival residence. If the deal closes, it would shatter the record for the most expensive home ever purchased in L.A., currently a tie between Daren Metropoulos’ $100 million purchase of the Playboy Mansion and billionaire Tom Gores’ pickup of a two-acre Holmby Hills spec house. The price tag reflects the continued strength of L.A.’s luxury market, according to Coldwell Banker agent Christophe Choo. He noted that the Westside alone has seen 19 homes over $20 million sold in the first quarter of 2017, up 380 percent compared to the same period last year.