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LOS ANGELES COUNTY NEWS
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KB Homes Acquires 13.5-Acre Parcel in the San Gabriel Valley

7/25/23

A 13.5-acre parcel of commercial land in the San Gabriel Valley city of El Monte traded for $24 mil. The buyer, Los Angeles-based KB Homes, a Fortune 500 national home builder, will use the property to construct up to 200 new homes in a new housing development.

Located at 2540 Rosemead Blvd, the property was formerly the home of the Starlite Drive-In movie theater built in the 1950’s. Following the demise of the drive-in theater business 30 years ago, the site was sold to Taiwanese-based business Starlite Swap Meet Group and the site became known throughout Los Angeles for the Starlite Swap Meet. The weekend-only swap meet, a mainstay of the El Monte community since the 1990s, was closed in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic and never reopened. With its closure the current owners decided they were ready to sell the property.

The property had been zoned commercial but due to significant housing shortages in the San Gabriel Valley, El Monte city officials were encouraged to change the zoning from commercial to residential. The entitlement process took nearly two years to complete, prior to KB Homes’ purchase.

Nick Peukpiboon and Rudy Lara, SIOR, with DAUM Commercial Real Estate Services. represented both buyer and seller in the transaction.

“This property was an excellent opportunity for both the buyer and seller to achieve their business objectives. After owning the land and managing the Starlite Swap Meet for three decades, the owner was ready to sell. With available land for new development at a premium, the chance to purchase over 13 acres of empty acreage was too good to pass up for KB Homes,” commented Peukpiboon.

Housing comes at a significant premium across all the San Gabriel Valley. According to Realtor.com the median listing price for a home in El Monte is nearly $700k. In January 2022, the Real Deal first reported the plans for KB Homes to develop the historic property. At the time, it was reported that the developer would retain the drive-in’s iconic 72-year-old Streamline Moderne/Googie marquee.

“The process to change the entitlement from commercial to residential, though long, was the ultimate catalyst that enabled this transaction to come to fruition. El Monte city leadership recognized the need and saw the value of changing the zoning in order to bring in additional family housing to the San Gabriel Valley,” continued Peukpiboon.

El Monte is located about 15 miles from downtown Los Angeles and operates as a commercial and residential hub in the San Gabriel Valley at the intersection of the 605 and 10 Freeways. El Monte is the ninth largest city in Los Angeles County with a population of approximately 120,000. The city is a culturally diverse and dynamic community with substantial commercial interests including major distribution centers, banking operations, and large retailers like Home Depot and Sam’s Club.





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