She Sold That Building
Crystal Lofing’s latest real estate deal involved Dodger Stadium
Published in 2014 Southern California Rising Stars magazine on June 6, 2014
By the early 2000s, Crystal Lofing, with a master’s degree in piano performance from the Manhattan School of Music, was in New York, playing solo recitals and studying with prominent musicians such as Ruth Laredo and Jeffrey Cohen. It was a dream come true. At the same time, it was a tough road. “There are a lot of very talented people competing for the same thing,” she says.
So she weighed her options. She remembered how one of her college professors told her she had the intellectual capacity for the law. “So the seed to pursue a peripheral path was really planted by him,” says Lofing, now a senior counsel at Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis.
“Initially I went to [Harvard] Law School with plans to pursue entertainment law,” she adds. “Then I realized I’d rather look down the street and say, ‘I sold that building.’ There’s a nice tangible nature to real estate. At a lot of big firms, they put you where they need you, especially if you don’t have a specific idea of what you want to do. I wanted to control my own destiny.”
When she started practicing, she says, “I learned that real estate isn’t just the lease. It’s about about how properties come together. I immediately had to start thinking about the bigger picture.”
At Allen Matkins’ Century City office, she works on some of California’s most high-profile real estate matters. She has helped close more than $2 billion in deals, including Kilroy Realty Corp.’s complex industrial portfolio, which involved 40 properties selling for an aggregate price of $355 million.
Once a deal reaches the lawyers, she says, most of the material business terms have been negotiated already. “When a deal hits my desk, it’s rare when I don’t see it go through.”
Recently, she handled the real estate portion of the $2.15 billion sale of the LA Dodgers for former owner Frank McCourt. She and colleague Tony Natsis worked out how the land should be used when the stadium and parking lot were separately owned, looking to the future and troubleshooting potential problems. “Frank is very, very sharp,” she says of the real estate mogul. “He knows what he wants and what he doesn’t want.”
Although she’s now spent many hours walking the grounds at Dodger Stadium, she hasn’t had the chance to play its famous organ. “Maybe someday,” she says with a laugh.