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LA County’s Seismic Retrofitting Needs: 13,500 Apartments 

Research by JLL reveals a large number of Los Angeles County apartments built before 1978, with garages and carports on the ground-level, are at risk of collapse during an earthquake. Often referred to as “soft-story” buildings, and consisting of two or more floors based on wood frame construction, these apartments proliferated throughout the basin from the 1950’s through the late 1970’s.

JLL’s Henry Gjestrum notes, the high cost of retrofitting might lead to a significant uptick in sales volume from owners who do not want to undertake costly upgrades. Conversely, this will create an opportunity for value-add investors, who are willing to bring these assets into compliance. 

Los Angeles’ list includes 13,500 “soft-story” buildings that are seismically vulnerable and would need to be reinforced. They are primarily concentrated in the San Fernando Valley, Mid-Wilshire/Hollywood area and Westside.

Owners have two years to submit proof that an asset does not need retrofitting, or provide plans for retrofitting or demolition. Owners have seven years to complete repairs, although JLL notes some of these buildings are already hitting the deadline for getting a plan to the city.

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About Dennis Kaiser

Dennis Kaiser is Vice President of Content and Public Relations for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Dennis is a communications leader with more than 30 years of experience including as a journalist and in corporate and agency marketing communications roles. He is responsible for Connect’s client content operations and is involved in a range of initiatives ranging from content strategy, message development, copywriting, media relations, social media and content marketing services. In his most recent corporate communications roles, he led a regional public relations effort across Southern California for CBRE, played a key marketing role on JLL’s national retail team, and was responsible for directing the global public relations effort at ValleyCrest, the nation’s largest commercial landscape services company. In addition to his vast commercial real estate experience, Dennis has worked on communications and launch strategies for a number of residential projects such as Disney’s Celebration in Florida, Ritter Ranch in Palmdale California (7,200 homes, 22,000 acres), WaterColor in Florida and PremierGarage in Phoenix. Dennis’s agency background included firms such as Idea Hall and Macy + Associates. He has earned an outstanding reputation with organization leaders as a trusted advisor, strategic program implementer, consensus builder and exceptional collaborator. Dennis has developed and managed national communications programs for Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, both public and private. He’s successfully worked with journalists across the globe representing clients involved in major-breaking news stories, product launches, media tours, and company news announcements. Dennis has been involved in a host of charitable and community organizations including the American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, BoyScouts, Chrysalis Foundation, Freedom For Life, HOLA, L.A.’s BEST, Reach Out and Read, Super Bowl Host Committee, and Thunderbirds Charities.

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