Shaul Kuba, Avi Shemesh and Richard Ressler

Shaul Kuba, Avi Shemesh and Richard Ressler

Co-founders and principals at CIM Group

Shaul Kuba, Avi Shemesh and Richard Ressler
By September 18, 2023 9:00 AM

According to media reports, Shaul Kuba and Avi Shemesh have been friends since they were children in Israel. The two set up a landscaping company in the U.S., and also co-founded Dekel Development, a developer of commercial and multifamily properties in Los Angeles. 

Kuba and Shemesh met Richard Ressler, a landscaping customer and former investment banker, and the three created CIM Group 29 years ago, which today is one of the most active development firms in Los Angeles with $31.5 billion in assets owned and operated.

Due to its reach, CIM Group is feeling the sting from falling commercial real estate values, particularly with regard to traditional office space. CIM Group sold the 215,100-square-foot office building at 801 South Grand for $42 million after acquiring it for $53 million in 2013. To avoid paying the taxes associated with Measure ULA, the deal was completed just before the new transfer tax went into effect in April. 

With that said, the Wilshire Boulevard-based company hasn’t shown signs of slowing its development pipeline. It’s not afraid of adding more office space, either. Earlier this year, CIM Group filed plans to redevelop a portion of a concrete plant on La Brea Avenue into a seven-story, mixed-use building with 78,000 square feet of office and commercial space. Also, in May, CIM broke ground on a project in West Adams that will become a three-story building with 32,600 square feet featuring offices with ground-floor commercial space.

The firm owns 2,635 units in Los Angeles — making it the 28th largest multifamily owner in the county, but that ranking’s set to rise quickly. In West Adams, for example, CIM Group has rapidly advanced a plan to reshape the community. 

Projects by CIM Group in Los Angeles in the works or recently added to the construction pipeline include: a five-story development with 114 apartments on Western Avenue in Jefferson Park; a six-story project with 168 apartments and 40,000 square feet of commercial space on Crenshaw Boulevard; a seven-
story complex on Sunset Boulevard with 109 units; a residential conversion of the former Farmers Insurance headquarters in the mid-Wilshire area; a five-story building with 114 apartments at Western Avenue and West Jefferson Boulevard; a 146-unit project on Hollywood Boulevard; and a 36-unit project in Echo Park. 

CIM Group owns other notable properties in the region, from the Dolby Theater (CIM sold the accompanying Hollywood & Highland Center for $325 million in 2019) to a Beverly Hills retail space leased to a Rolls-Royce dealership. CIM Group also owns The Lot on Formosa, a soundstage and office complex with 540,000 square feet that’s leased to tenants including HBO.