The Landing, a landmark Vons Pavilions-anchored center in Newport Beach, CA, sold for $34.89 million.

IRVINE, CA-Locally based retail investment group Hanley Investment Real Estate Advisors ended 2012 with a bang, closing out the fourth quarter with the sale of 23 retail properties totaling more than $90 million. The retail transactions included grocery/drug-anchored shopping centers and multitenant and single-tenant retail properties.

During the quarter, Hanley’s Kevin T. Fryman and Carlos J. Lopez represented the seller in the sale of a 4,229-square-foot retail strip center at 20301 Hawthorne Blvd. in Torrance, CA, occupied by 7-Eleven and the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. The purchase price was $4.62 million, representing a record $1,064 per square foot, the highest sale price per square foot for a multi-tenant strip center in Los Angeles County in 2012. The seller was a Torrance-based private investor, and the buyer, a private investor based overseas, was represented by Paul Lee of Pacific Gold Coast Realty in Diamond Bar, CA.

In the summer of 2012, the firm negotiated the sales of three grocery-anchored shopping centers in Southern California within 120 days of each other, totaling nearly $77 million. The Landing, a 44,289-square-foot landmark Vons Pavilions-anchored center on Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, sold for $34.89 million, or $790 per square foot on a fee simple basis. Edward B. Hanley, president of Hanley Investment Group, said in a prepared statement, “This was the highest sale price per square foot in the last five years for the purchase of a grocery-anchored center in California and was challenging due to the fact that the sale was structured using REIT stock.”

Also, Hanley represented the buyer and seller in the $22.85-million sale of the Marketplace in Palm Desert, a 96,463-square-foot Stater Bros./Walgreens-anchored center in an area where few grocery-anchored centers trade. And the firm sold a 91,631-square-foot Vons-anchored center, Seabridge Marketplace in Oxnard, as an off-market transaction brought about by the need to extract the ownership from a very difficult lender. The transaction closed in seven days, from start to finish, said Hanley, who represented both the buyer and the seller in the transaction.

In December, Hanley’s transactions included a Chase bank in Riverside and a 31,140-square-foot CVS/pharmacy-anchored shopping center on 2.54 acres in Huntington Beach.

“There was a flurry of closings at the end of 2012 as sellers attempted to avoid the potential higher capital-gains taxes on property sales,” said Hanley. “In 2013, we expect to see sellers focused more on exchanging after evaluating the new tax laws.”

Hanley added that momentum will build rapidly as the industry works through the aftermath of the elections and endless fiscal-cliff discussions. He expects retail vacancy rates to experience some downward pressure this year, as well. “Watch for increased investor confidence, which will lead to higher demand for retail investment opportunity. I am anticipating a very busy year for retail property sales.”

Revisit the Orange County page later today to read about how Hanley Investment Group set multiple records for single-tenant drug-store cap rates in an update to this morning’s story.

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