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EL MONTE, CA-Granite Peak Partners Inc. has purchased the 82,500-sf Santa Anita Storage self-storage facility at 3830 Santa Anita Ave. for $5 million in partnership with 1031 exchange buyers and other private investors, with plans to sell the property within two years after boosting occupancy and improving operations. The Santa Barbara firm has already increased occupancy at the self-storage property, one of two recent acquisitions by the investment firm, which bought both properties from Los Angeles-based private investors. The other was an 81-unit, $7-million condominium purchase.

The self-storage facility was built in 1997 and was 82% occupied at the time Granite Peak bought it. The company has boosted occupancy to 97% since then and foresees raising rents between 15% and 20%, says Pierre Tada, a Granite Peak partner. The self-storage project is on a ground lease owned by Los Angeles County. The lease ran for 22 years when Granite bought the facility, but the company has since renegotiated it to a 40-year lease. Granite Peak bought the self-storage facility and the condo project through its GPP Opportunity Fund and expects to sell the assets within 12 to 24 months, according to Bruce Savett, a partner in the firm.

The 81 units are a part of the 236-unit Willow Creek Condominiums at 44454-44556 15th St. in Lancaster, which were built in the early 1990s and rented as apartments. A condominium building moratorium in effect in Antelope Valley until recently left very little inventory in the market, explains Savett, who says Granite will improve each unit with new appliances, carpet and paint and put them on the market at asking prices in the mid $100,000s.

In the storage facility transaction, the seller was represented by Bill Herrera of IRA Realty and the buyer by Charles Yeh of ANCA Realty. In the Lancaster acquisition, the listing broker was Chris Thompson of IREA Investment Real Estate.

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