Los Angeles is selling off some very odd lots, including a sidewalk corner

The 50 properties for sale on behalf of the City of LA are unusual and encumbered, the weird offspring of zoning rules, surveyors' errors, and complex subrights, like the "air rights" over a given piece of land.

The snips and scraps of LA were owned by Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles, which is being shut down and having its assets sold to raise money for the city, county and state.

At the other end of the scale in the CRA portfolio are tiny bits of land that were left over from big real estate developments, set aside like scraps of cloth cut from a garment.

"These are small pieces, like a corner of sidewalk," said property broker Jimmy Chai of Cushman & Wakefield, the real estate firm tasked with selling the portfolio. "The CRA did developments and kept the remnant pieces that didn't fit."

Who might buy a sliver of sidewalk? Adjacent property owners, Chai said, or perhaps an aspiring Donald Trump type who is interested in self-promotion.

"If someone wants to put their name on it, it might be a fun way of doing a little advertising," he said.

The only way to determine its worth may be to actually sell it.

Land in prime locations, with occupants holding rent-free 99-year leases from the CRA, might appeal to more serious buyers willing to wait a very long time to cash in.

"I think anybody who wants to own a piece of history or a piece of downtown, but is priced out, would be interested," Chai said. "Or perhaps a foundation or trust that wants to make a super-long-term investment that would pass to a generation in the future...."

...Among the more esoteric offerings are "air rights" that allow developers to build higher projects than would normally be allowed by the city. Such rights can be transferred from one property to another.

For sale: a sliver of sidewalk and other 'challenging' L.A. properties [Roger Vincent/LA Times]

(via BLDG Blog)


(Image: LA in LA County map, public domain)