RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, CA-TIF Equities of Los Angeles has acquired a 40,000-sf portion of the 320,000-sf Santa Margarita Marketplace shopping center for $14.9 million, according to Faris Lee Investments, which brokered the deal. TIF, which bought the property in a 1031 exchange, gets a portion of the center that includes anchor tenant Circuit City, which took over a former Marshall’s store earlier this year.

Richard Walter and Dennis Vaccaro of Irvine-based Faris Lee represented Armour Properties, the Newport Beach-based investment company that sold the property, with Gary Mull of Providence Investment Properties representing TIF. The entire center is part of the 370-acre Town Center master-planned community in the heart of Rancho Santa Margarita.

In addition to Circuit City, the 40,000 sf that TIF acquired includes “in-line shops occupied by strong local tenants,” according to Walter. Vaccaro pointed out that closing the deal presented some challenges because it had to be timed precisely to match new loan funding for the buyer’s 1031 exchange.

Built in 2000 and 2001, the Santa Margarita Marketplace is situated on 30 acres along the 241 Transportation Corridor at Santa Margarita Parkway. The larger center is anchored by Lowe’s Home Improvement and was 100% occupied at the time of the sale.

In addition to Circuit City and Lowe’s, tenants include Staples, Aaron Brothers, PetsMart, Linens ‘N Things, Pier 1 Imports, Starbucks, Wendy’s, Rubio’s and Blockbuster. Walter says that prospective buyers were attracted by the property’s tenant mix, freeway visibility and stable income stream.

In the portion of the property that TIF Equities bought, more than 60% of the total rental income is generated by the new 15-year Circuit City lease, Walter notes. The center has maintained 100% occupancy since its opening in 2001, he adds.

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