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TORRANCE, CA-First Industrial Realty and the Carlyle Group have sold a portfolio of five business parks totaling 635,532 sf for $54 million to five private and institutional buyers.

The sale is believed to be the largest industrial portfolio to change hands this year in Los Angeles County, according to Kevin Shannon of Grubb & Ellis, who was part of a Grubb & Ellis team that brokered the sale.

Shannon says the portfolio was located primarily in the South Bay industrial market. It consisted of the sale of the 48,979-sf Normandie Business Center in Torrance to Cornerstone Realty; the sale of 196,701-sf Century 105 Business Center in Hawthorne to FI Development Services; the sale of 101,644-sf Civic Commerce Center in Irwindale to ZA Realty Inc.; the sale of 195,578-sf South Bay Business Park in Torrance to Rreef; and the sale of 94,230-sf Carson Industrial Center in Carson to CIC LLC.

Shannon, Steve Bohannon and Mike Randall of Grubb & Ellis, in cooperation with Britt Shufford of Leonard and Ohren, represented the buyer and seller in the four South Bay sale transactions. Shannon and John Hollingsworth represented the buyer and seller in the sale of the Civic Commerce Center in Irwindale, which is in the San Gabriel Valley.

Shannon says the deals illustrate that the Los Angeles region remains a seller’s market for multi-tenant industrial properties, which are exceptionally popular with investors.

Investors remain optimistic about industrial properties in part because they have retained higher occupancy rates than office buildings and the industrial market has shown more signs of improvement, brokers say. Availability rates in the L.A. Basin are decreasing, standing at about 6.9% in the third quarter of 2002, and overall sales and leasing activity is increasing.

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