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Expo Changes Real Estate Game in Santa Monica

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark
By Jason Islas
Staff Writer

May 14, 2013 -- With the coming Expo Light Rail, so too comes the promise of easier, traffic-free commutes from Downtown Los Angeles to Downtown Santa Monica.

That's one reason why The Luzzatto Company, Inc., the local real estate company which owns the Village Trailer Park, recently bought a 14,340 square-foot industrial office property on Colorado Avenue, just four blocks west of the future 17th Street Expo Light Rail stop.

“Businesses will always put a premium on properties that are close to rail because their employees have a good option to commute to work,” said Marc Luzzatto, the company’s CEO.

With the Expo Line scheduled to open to the public in 2016, it might only be a few years before that property becomes even more in demand.

“It's well-located real estate,” Luzzatto said. “When properties become available in Santa Monica, we pay attention because Santa Monica is a great place to own real estate for the long term.”

On top of the increased value, being close to the public transit is a good way to be environmentally friendly, Luzzatto said. “We strongly believe in the power of mass transit to lessen our overall carbon footprint and reduce traffic,” he said.

The future of the property is still unclear, Luzzatto said, but he added that there would likely not be any dramatic change. “Odds are that we would not really do much other than renovate the property,” he said

“At this point, we're holding it as an investment property,” Luzzatto added. “We're going to see what evolves in that neighborhood.”

The Luzzatto Company owns other Santa Monica commercial properties that have been leased by Red Bull, Yahoo!, Jakks Pacific, Carat, The Honest Company, CVS and BevMo.

Luzzatto and his partners also own one of Santa Monica's two remaining trailer parks -- The Village Trailer Park.

Plans to develop this land within walking distance of the future Bergamot Station Expo Line stop had been delayed for more than six years until the Council eventually approved the Development Agreement last month.

Luzzatto is now waiting for the Rent Control Board to remove the units from the rent control rolls before beginning construction.

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