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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA-Two separate buyers have acquired two parcels totaling 120,000 sf at Town Center Square for a combined $23.6 million, according to Faris Lee Investments.

The sales of the properties conclude the breakup of what was once a 212,000-sf center into individual parcels in transactions that greatly increased the overall equity return on the property, Irvine-based Faris Lee reports.

Donald J. MacLellan and Richard J. Walter of Faris Lee, who represented the seller in both transactions, explain that the sales were part of a master break-up strategy executed by the Irvine brokerage.

The first transaction, a $10.7 million purchase, included a single-tenant building occupied by Best Buy. The 59,818-sf building at 11098 Foothill Blvd. was sold by Rancho Town Center LP to a family trust as a 1031 Exchange. Ed Hanley of Marcus & Millichap represented the buyer.

The other transaction was the $12.9 million sale of two single-tenant, stand-alone properties occupied by Office Max and Barnes & Noble adjacent to each other at 11070 and 11090 Foothill Blvd. respectively. The two total 60,527 sf, with Office Max occupying 36,347 sf and Barnes & Noble in 24,180 sf. The buildings were sold by Rancho Town Center LP to another private buyer as a 1031 Exchange, with Jon Busse of Colliers International representing the buyer.

MacLellan notes that the buyer of the Office Max and Barnes & Noble site previously owned apartments and decided to roll the proceeds of the apartment sale into retail because the buyer was attracted by the long-term lease and the prospect of little or no management duties associated with owning the retail property.

This represents a trend in the marketplace–a large buyer pool looking for investments with or without credit tenants, MacLellan adds. When Rancho Town Center LP acquired the 212,000-sf Town Center Square shopping center in March 2003 it was purchased as a whole and included the following tenants: PetsMart, Steinmart, Best Buy, Office Max and Barnes & Noble. During escrow, Faris Lee says, it advised Rancho Town Center that selling the center as several separate parcels would maximize the property’s value.

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