George Elkins Co., a fixture in Los Angeles area real estate for nearly 70 years, is selling its residential operations to separate management-led investor groups, a company official said.
The firm's three company-owned residential real estate offices are being sold to two investor groups.
It then will expand its mortgage banking, property management and general insurance divisions, Ronald Robbins, president of George Elkins Co., said Tuesday.
The prices of the separate deals were not disclosed.
Mr. Robbins said that the slumping real estate market was a factor inthe decision to sell, but the primary reason was "the board of directors wanted to expand those three divisions" which are "quite profitable."
Company officials said that residential real estate sales are down about 10 percent this year from $500 million in 1989.
David Eisner, managing partner of the Price Waterhouse Real Estate Group in the Century City area of Los Angeles, said that the sale is not part of the trend of small businesses that are shutting down or selling out because of revenue declines.
"[George Elkins] has been through these [slow market] cycles before. There has been a wind down in residential activities because of the advanced age of the owner," Mr. Eisner said.
The company's founder, George Elkins, is 91. Some Elkins family members will continue to work for the company.
Elkins' office in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles is being sold to a group of investors led by that office's manager, Dennis Duggan, formerly the company's president, and another outside managing partner, Erny Pinckert Jr., owner of Norton Realtors in Brentwood. The sale is expected be completed in the next several weeks.
Elkins' offices in Beverly Hills and San Marino, both Los Angeles-area cities, are being sold to an investor group led by Reta Rose, sales manager of the Beverly Hills office. The sale is expected to be completed by December.