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TORRANCE, CA-First Industrial Realty Trust of Chicago has sold a portfolio of nine industrial buildings here to a group of buyers for $8.4 million, according to Leonard & Ohren Commercial.

Britten C. Shuford of Leonard & Ohren, who represented the seller and many of the investment buyers, says the average purchase price of $129 per sf is among the highest paid for comparable property in the local market. The buildings range in size from 7,300 sf to 8,000 sf and were mostly leased to local credit companies at the time of sale.

First Industrial acquired the portfolio in 2001 from the original developer, Alan Blackmore, for approximately $5.7 million.

Four private investors, all of whom were involved in separate 1031 Exchange transactions, separately purchased the leased assets while owner-users acquired two of the buildings. The average cap rate for the transactions was 7.3%.

Shuford says Leonard & Ohren’s disposition strategy “aligned well with the appetite of 1031 Exchange buyers” seeking well located industrial assets. With the investment market in Southern California being as tight as it is today, core industrial assets with solid fundamentals are becoming increasing more desirable, he notes.

The industrial buildings are part of the Western-Torrance Commerce Center, which is close to Old Downtown Torrance, adjacent to the intersection of Torrance Boulevard and Western Avenue. The buildings, used mainly for warehouse and distribution operations, were approximately 98% leased at the time of the sale. Built in 1981, they are of single-story block construction, and most have grade-level loading.

Seller First Industrial First Industrial Realty Trust Inc. develops, buys, sells, leases and manages industrial property in major markets nationwide. It is one of the nation’s largest owners of industrial real estate, with a portfolio as of June 30 that included 888 buildings comprising more than 60.4 million sf of space throughout the US.

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