The L&R Group of Companies – a downtown Los Angeles-based and family-owned parking company that owns both Joe’s Auto Parks as well as the national parking company Wally Parks -- has paid $30 million for an approximately 1.5-acre site at the corner of Figueroa Street and Venice Boulevard now occupied by car dealer Downtown Toyota, according to Colliers International, which negotiated the transaction.

Senior Vice President Adam Tischer represented the buyer, L&R, while Executive Vice President Tom Lagos represented the seller, a private family trust. Both Tischer and Lagos are based in the brokerage firm’s downtown Los Angeles office.

According to Tischer, the purchase demonstrates L&R’s continued commitment to investing in the downtown Los Angeles market and its infrastructure as the company adds to its portfolio of over 100 downtown parking lots and structures it now owns and/or operates.

Parking has become scarce in downtown Los Angeles – especially in the South Park district where the property is located – as developers continue to build mixed-use developments on former parking lot sites.

“As downtown Los Angeles continues to grow, parking lots are being closed for new developments, permanently eliminating valuable parking capacity in the downtown area,” Tischer said. “L&R has been a visionary in anticipating this diminishing capacity and has strategically positioned itself to provide parking for the increasing demand created by the new mixed-use developments.”

L&R recently developed a multi-level, approximately 700-space parking structure with ground-floor retail to meet increased parking demand on Eighth Street. Demand was so high that the parking structure was over capacity within six months of opening, according to Tischer.

“This approximately 60,000-square-foot property is well located and acts as a virtual end-cap to the corridor on Figueroa Street near Staples Center and LA Live.” said Tischer. “Parking infrastructure is one of many uses possible at the property, but so is mixed-use development, so it’s not exactly clear what L& R will do with it now that it owns it.”

However, there may be zoning issues to overcome if L&R does choose to pursue a mixed-use development at the property, noted Colliers’ Lagos. The site’s zoning is more restrictive than the zoning just a block north on the opposite side of Pico Boulevard along a stretch of Figueroa, where residential towers are being built, some 40 stories tall.

“This was a preemptive move on the part of the buyer,” said Lagos. “Before we could even get our marketing materials distributed, L&R came in with a strong offer and that’s where the negotiations started.”

In terms of the Toyota dealership, the family trust represented by Lagos had operated it for years before selling it to Downtown L.A. Auto Group in 2012, keeping it as a leased-investment property until this latest sale. The dealership, meanwhile, is slated to move a few blocks away to Washington Boulevard and Figueroa Street.