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CALABASAS, CA-Family trust Mar LLC has acquired the 76,319-sf Creekside Plaza, a grocery-anchored center, for $21.7 million in a 1031 exchange, according to Faris Lee Investments of Irvine.

David Lee of Faris Lee reports that the new owners acquired the center from W. Calabasas LLC, a local developer, going into the deal with a 35% equity investment. The shopping center is situated at 26521, 26527 and 26531 Agoura Rd., close to the 101 Freeway. It is 100% occupied, with noteworthy tenants including Albertsons, Starbucks and Quizno’s.Lee, who represented the seller along with Donald MacLellan of Faris Lee, says the deal typifies many of the shopping center sales occurring in today’s market, where developer’s continue to be very strong sellers. “The exit cap rates are very aggressive, allowing quality developers to profit and recapitalize for new developments,” he says.Faris Lee represented both sides of the deal, with the firm’s Patrick Kent representing the buyer. MacLellan reports that a challenge to closing the sale was finding a 1031 buyer willing to put down nearly 35% and assume a loan with an interest rate higher than today’s market rate. He says the transaction also required a buyer that would be willing to take a lower cash-on-cash return initially on “an irreplaceable piece of real estate with a grocery anchor.”

The buyers wanted to upgrade their portfolio and dispose of a high maintenance property in an inferior trade area in exchange for a higher quality asset that would take much less time and effort and is located in a trade area with a median household income of more than $90,000. The investor’s transition to retail is part of a trend that brokers have been talking about for some time, in which former owners of multifamily properties switch to retail investments in order to escape the management demands of apartments.

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