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HOUSTON-Two Westheimer Road shopping centers, situated three miles apart, have been sold in unrelated deals as local investors jockey for a piece of the action along the heavily traveled, retail-packed thoroughfare bisecting the Galleria and Westchase submarkets.

The 123,936-sf Westminster Plaza, assessed at $7.8 million, has been sold to Zohrab Tcholakian. The 117,000-sf Westchase Shopping Center, with a $9-million value, went to Alli Ebrahimi, who acquired his second holding in a year from the GE Pension Fund.

Westminster Plaza’s seller of record is Westminster Properties LLC, a Los Angeles-based partnership led by Kam Mateen. The 18-year-old Westminster Plaza came with an extra six acres of abutting land and carried a $10.5-million asking price. Monte L. Tinkham of Houston’s Monte L. Tinkham Properties tells GlobeSt.com that interest ran high for the 95%-occupied center partly because it abuts the master-planned Royal Oaks development.

Tinkham and Tom Bousquet Jr. of the Houston office of CB Richard Ellis negotiated on the seller’s behalf. Tcholakian was represented by Vahe Asadourian of Vatco in Houston.Tinkham says the decision to sell Westminster Plaza after owning it for five years was just part of a normal portfolio shuffle. It is anchored by Luby’s, Kinko’s and JoAnn’s Fabric.

The 27-year-old Westchase Shopping Center is positioned at the southwest corner of Westheimer and Gessner roads. Its anchors are Benihana and Churascos restaurants. There is a vacant grocery spot, once held by Kroger.

Tinkham again handled talks for the seller, the Westchase RPF II LP, an entity of the GE Pension Fund, which had owned the property for more than a decade. About a year ago, the pension fund sold the 95,000-sf Village Real shopping center in Clear Lake to Ebrahimi.

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