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GARDENA, CA-Commercial Ventures Inc. of Westwood, Calif. bought the 12-story, 247,244-sf Andrex Point office building at 879 W. 190th St. for $28.5 million from Hyundai Merchant Marine.

The class A property is 61% occupied and the deal included a free-standing, 8,700-sf restaurant at the Andrex site, according to Kevin Shannon of Grubb & Ellis, which brokered the sale. Shannon, Bill Maher and Chris Sinfield of Grubb & Ellis represented the buyer and the seller of Andrex Point. Sinfield, Bill Maher and Phillip Mattice of Grubb & Ellis have the leasing assignment.

Built in 1989, Andrex Point is near the airports and ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles and close to the 405, 110 and 91 freeways in the region’s South Bay office market. Major tenants in the building include IBM and Northrup Grumman. Privately held buyer Commercial Ventures Inc. owns about 3 million sf of office and industrial buildings and approximately 8,000 units of apartments in California, Washington and Nevada.

The Andrex Point deal, Shannon says, is one of a number of recent transactions that show an increase in the number of investment property sales despite the sluggish economy.

While investment sales in the South Bay office market have been picking up, the latest Grubb & Ellis statistics show the office vacancy inched up in the second quarter to 19.4%, while net absorption finished at a negative 67,000 sf and average direct asking rents dipped two cents to $1.96.

Nonetheless, Grubb & Ellis calls this year’s South Bay results “a marked improvement” over last year, when the market posted 1.4 million sf of negative net absorption.

As further signs of the improvement in the market, the report cites leases of 335,000 sf by Northrop Grumman at 201 N. Douglas St., a Candle software systems lease for 100,000 sf at Pacific Corporate Towers, a TelASIC Communications lease for 28,000 sf at 1940 E. Mariposa and a 40,000 sf renewal by Japan Airlines. All of the deals were signed at effective rates of between $2.00 and $2.50 per sf per month.

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