The retail asset class has experienced its own odd polarity. On one hand, retail is struggling to survive in a world dominated by ecommerce, and on the other, it is thriving in well-located markets with high-quality product. Last year, 1031 exchange buyers in particular leaned into retail as a low-management investment class, and many of these buyers exchanged out of multifamily. Newmark Knight Frank recently sold a four-property retail portfolio for $35 million, focusing specifically on exchange buyers for the deal.

“We definitely saw an uptick of trade buyers in 2018 pursuing retail opportunities. There’s always a steady stream of trade buyers in retail but with the choppiness of the market and tenant bankruptcies, we definitely saw demand fluctuate, pricing soften a bit, and buyers easily spooked during due diligence,” Kyle R. Miller, executive managing director at NKF Capital Markets West, tells “In 2018 we saw increased activity coming from the multifamily market sector into retail.”

The retail portfolio included a Petco in Northridge and a Petco, Office Depot, and multi-tenant property all located in the South Bay. Miller and his team, which included vice chairman Bill Bauman and senior managing director Dan Samulski, advised the seller to sell the properties individually to achieve the highest value. Miller says that they targeted exchange buyers specifically because of the “deal size, passive nature of the opportunities, and location are all characteristics that exchange buyers have been gravitating towards in this market.” The portfolio included three single-tenant buildings and a multi-tenant building.

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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