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LOS ANGELES-The local office of Westcore Properties LLC has purchased a portfolio of nine Rite Aid stores in California for approximately $38.7 million from Townsend RA Stores LLC and DWT Exchange LLC, both based in Towson, MD.

The nine Rite Aid stores total 244,310 sf and are located in both Southern and Northern California. The Westcore buying entities, which are wholly owned subsidiaries of Westcore Properties, include Western Distribution Centers LLC; BRS Westcore Don Jullian; and BRS Westcore East Washington Blvd. LLC. Both the buyers and the seller were represented by John Hyslip of Capital Advisors in Nashua, NH.

The properties were part of a portfolio purchase to diversify Westcore’s company holdings, says Marc Brutten, president and CEO of Westcore. He says the real estate investment firm plans to hold the assets for a long-term period “due to Rite Aid’s strength and success in its retail category.”

The Rite Aid portfolio was purchased as a result of a 1031 Exchange from a sizeable liquidation of assets just a few months ago. In August, Westcore Properties sold two industrial portfolios for approximately $201 million. Since that time, Westcore has been aggressively purchasing retail, industrial and office properties in targeted markets throughout California. Over the past four months, the company has acquired approximately $100 million in properties.

According to Brutten, the buying spree will continue in 2004. He says Westcore will seek to acquire an additional $200 million in properties priced from $5 million to $100 million. Many of these acquisitions will involve repositioning and/or rehabilitation of properties, he says. The locations, prices and sizes of properties acquired from Rite Aid were: Brentwood, $4.4 million, 31,483 sf; Elk Grove, $3.8 million, 29,913 sf; Galt, $4.7 million, 31,600 sf; Morro Bay, $5 million, 22,794 sf; Oakley, $5 million, 31,472 sf; San Pablo, $5.5 million, 30,491 sf; California City, $2.2 million, 16,822 sf; Citrus Heights, $5 million, 29,573 sf; Newman, $3.1 million, 20,162 sf.

Westcore is a private commercial real estate investment firm that focuses on investing in markets within the Southwestern US. Formed in 2000, the company and its principals have invested in more than $1 billion in properties totaling in excess of 10 million sf. The company recently changed its name from Westcore Industrial Properties in order to reflect a diversification in its investment scope from primarily value-added, industrial properties to both core and core-plus retail, office and industrial.

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