Phil Voorhees, EVP, CBRE National Retail Partners – West

In the last few years, public REITs and some institutional investors have pulled back their capital allocation from retail assets, leaving behind a thin buyer pool for assets priced above $35 million. It isn’t all bad news, though. The shift has opened up space for pension funds and family offices, along with other sources of private capital, to transact in the market, and this buyer pool has been bullish enough on the city’s retail market to fuel strong pricing. Last week, for example, the 195,000-square-foot Vista Village complex in San Diego traded hands for $66.2 million—according to industry sources unrelated to the deal. The buyer, CFT Vista, is a Las Vegas-based private investment firm, and a perfect example of the capital bidding on these deals.

“Since 2017, we’ve seen a pullback from the public REITs, creating an opportunity for pension funds, advisors and family offices,” Philip D. Voorhees, vice chairman at CBRE National Retail Partners-West, tells The exodus of these capital sources has expressly impacted large retail shopping centers with price tags exceeding $35 million—which is generally the retail niche occupied by institutional dollars. “With a pullback in REIT and some institutional interest, the bidder pool for assets over $35 or $40 million gets thin fast,” adds Voorhees. “Thinking of the world as a capital pyramid, there are more investors with $5 million liquid to spend than $10 million, and more with $10 million than $20 million or $30 million.”

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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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