Verizon Wireless has signed a long-term lease for a corporate-owned store at the Metro Art Sherman Oaks development in the San Fernando Valley, bringing the $50 million luxury mixed-use retail and residential project to full retail occupancy less than a year after construction was completed, Colliers International has reported. The project includes 112 luxury apartments. Located on 1.75-acres near the intersection of Hazeltine Avenue at 14141 Ventura Blvd., and adjacent to a new 65,000-square-foot Ralph’s Fresh Fare grocery store, the retail element totals 16,600 square feet of Spanish Colonial-themed contemporary, glass-and-steel accented space with spacious outdoor patios and broad pedestrian walkways connecting the apartments and the retail. Other tenants include Mendocino Farms, Island’s and Berkshire Hathaway Home Services.

“This is the first mid-block, mixed-use project to be built in Sherman Oaks,” said Colliers Vice President Gabe Kadosh, a retail specialist based in the brokerage firm’s downtown Los Angeles office. “The fact that both the retail and residential units are now fully occupied is a testament to both the rebounding market and to the owner’s foresight in acquiring this prime location in one of Los Angeles’s most upscale communities.”

In the latest transaction, Verizon Wireless will house a 2,600-square-foot store for a term of seven years. Total consideration was $1.3 million. Colliers’ Kadosh and May Realty Advisors’ Matthew May represented the developer and general contractor, BW Brody Affiliated, in the transaction. Senior Vice President Eric Lambiase of Colliers’ Irvine office represented Verizon.

According to recent market statistics and census bureau data, Sherman Oaks, and the surrounding communities of Encino and Studio City, boast some of the highest median income levels and home prices in the City of Los Angeles, noted Kadosh, both of which are positive factors for retailers in the new development.

“For these reasons, and because of the development’s central location along Ventura Boulevard, retailers like Verizon were attracted to the development,” added Lambiase. “The addition of the Ralph’s Fresh Fare adjacent to the development also will help drive foot traffic into the Metro Art.”

With 350 feet of retail space along Ventura Boulevard, the Metro Art Sherman Oaks also has direct access from the Hollywood Freeway (US 101) and the San Diego Freeway (I-405), as well as surface traffic from Ventura Boulevard, one of the San Fernando Valley’s busiest commercial districts. The apartments, all of which have been leased, front both Ventura Boulevard and Moorpark Street at the rear of the development. Developer BW Brody Affiliated also has had success with a similar project it built on the Westside of Los Angeles that is called Metro Art Brentwood.