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SAN DIEGO-Harsch Investment Properties maintains a strong bullish attitude toward San Diego real estate. The Portland, OR-based firm recently closed on its ninth area buy with its $24.1-million acquisition of the Avenue of Science Center, a three-building, 112,380-sf R&D complex located in the I-15 corridor.This latest buy brings Harsch’s I-15 corridor portfolio to 740,000 sf. For the overall San Diego market, the firm holds 1.1 million sf. “San Diego is blessed with strong demographics, great weather and expensive real estate,” explains Jordan Schnitzer, Harsh Investment’s president.Schnitzer tells that real estate prices have soared in recent years, making big gains increasingly difficult, forcing investors to become even more diligent in their acquisitions. “Anyone cocky about how great their investments are going to be are in for a shock,” Schnitzer says. “We’re looking at good buys, but don’t believe there are great buys out there.”About the Avenue of Science Center, Schnitzer says his company believes in the acquisition, but will truly know if it’s a good deal three to five years down the road. He adds that market fundamentals throughout the West Coast are making it tough to make smart plays. “We’re seeing significant cap rate compression as a result of huge, historic capital chasing a limited supply of investments.”In this latest acquisition, Brian Driscoll, SIOR, John Hale, SIOR and Jay Alexander, SIOR, of Colliers International, represented and the seller, Palo Alto-based Menlo Equities. The property is 100% leased and counts tenants such as Accredited Home Lenders, ID Analytics, Nolte & Associates and Trango Systems.In late 2003, Harsch acquired a property directly across the street, Carmel Corporate Plaza. Other Harsch buildings in the area include Carroll Canyon Commerce Center, Kearny Mesa Business Center and Cabrillo Commerce Center. Schnitzer says Harsch is not through adding to its San Diego portfolio. “We’re looking at a half dozen other projects in the area,” he says.

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