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SANTA ANA, CA-A Glendale-based private investment group called GGF LLC has purchased 100,375 sf of grocery-anchored retail space at the Bristol Marketplace shopping center from Torrance-based CREDI Bristol, also a private investor group.

The $18.6 million deal was brokered by Faris Lee Investments of Irvine, which had to find just the right kind of buyer because of some special requirements of the sale.

The Faris Lee team of Donald J. MacLellan and Richard J. Walter, who represented both the buyer and the seller, say the key to the transaction was identifying a buyer willing to place a $7 million down payment on the property and assume a loan with a higher interest rate than the prevailing rates in the current market. The property is at the northwest corner of Bristol and 17th streets and, at the time of the sale, was 96% occupied by tenants including Ralphs supermarket, Sav-on Drugs and the Blockbuster video chain.

MacLellan tells GlobeSt.com that despite the need to come up with a large down payment and assume the loan on the property, the grocery-anchored center drew the interest of a number of prospective buyers. Of those, GGF was one of a number of prospective buyers that were in 1031 exchanges.

Besides carrying an interest rate higher than current market rates, the existing debt was a conduit loan and — as is typical of conduit loans — could not be paid off without substantial pre-payment and defeasance penalties. The deal also included “additional moving pieces,” MacLellan tells GlobeSt.com, in that the 100,375 sf that was offered for sale was split into two non-contiguous pieces. Part of the square footage consists of shops at one end of the shopping center, the other part includes the Ralphs and the Sav-on, with an empty former Montgomery Ward store and a former Home Base standing in between the two parcels that were sold. Seller CREDI Bristol had owned the 100,375 sf for about four years.

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