This project started as a simple Los Angeles expansion for Santa Cruz-based Verve Coffee Roasters and turned into an incredibly complex leasing and debt-restructuring arrangement involving a roasting facility and a new restaurant. Creative Space worked with Verve, as well as the restaurant Bavel’s chef-owners Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis, on finding a space that allowed them to combine real estate forces. Asked to find a place for Verve to begin their hub-and-spoke expansion strategy and by Menashe and Gergis to find a home for their new restaurant, Creative Space identified an off-market opportunity located at 500 Mateo St, an expressive industrial structure at the ideally situated intersection of Santa Fe Ave and Mateo St in the heart of the Arts District, which in the end was the perfect fit.
Our challenge was to navigate a complex historical title situation. Two existing highway right-of-way dedications from the 1930s needed to be vacated by the city in order to even proceed with the project; once that was settled, we determined that the existing owner had an SBA loan that precluded them from leasing the building until that loan was refinanced; and once that was discovered, we learned that the building owner was unable to independently refinance without a third-party guarantor. Creative Space stepped in to negotiate, structuring a long-term guaranteed ground lease through Verve and Bavel’s partner Sprout LA, a move that allowed the owner to refinance the property and the team to unwind some of the complex issues in our way. From there, the renovation work began featuring interiors by local firms Design, Bitches and Studio Unltd, and landscape design by Terremoto. We were delighted to see Bavel open in April 2018 and Verve in August 2019 both to critical acclaim.