NEWPORT BEACH, CA-Buyers have paid a total of more than $5.2 million for just under 12,000 sf of retail projects here and in the Inland Empire in two deals that averaged a combined nearly $450 per sf. One of the sales involved a retail center in an infill area of Newport Beach and the other a net leased investment in Riverside, illustrating the demand for Orange County properties as well as for net-leased investments throughout Southern California. The transactions were brokered by Sperry Van Ness and CB Richard Ellis.In Newport Beach, a private investor has purchased a 6,509-sf center at 3305 Newport Blvd. from a Northern California-based private investor for nearly $2.6 million, according to Sperry Van Ness. The price of nearly $400 per sf, which would be extremely high in some markets, is not uncommon for well-placed retail properties in the top Orange County markets. Mehran Foroughi of Sperry Van Ness in Irvine represented the seller, with the buyer represented by Robert Kugh of Team Spirit. Foroughi describes the property as “in a trophy location on the Balboa Peninsula area of Newport Beach.” Built in 1959, the property has more than 165 feet of frontage along Newport Boulevard and underwent extensive rehabilitation in 1988. It is 85% leased to more than half a dozen tenants. In the Riverside transaction, a private investor bought a 5,430-sf, freestanding AppleBee’s Restaurant at 3820 Mulberry St., adjacent to the Riverside (91) Freeway, from MDO Properties Inc., for nearly $2.7 million, or more than $490 per sf. Brian Bethea of the Newport Beach office of CBRE and Joe Miller of the Anaheim office of CBRE brokered the sale. Bethea and Miller, who have represented and sold four other AppleBee’s restaurants in the past 15 months, say the sale reflects both the success of the AppleBee’s restaurant concept and the popularity of net-leased, single-tenant investments among Southern California’s retail investors.

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