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VISALIA, CA-GE Commercial Finance Business Property Corp. has acquired the 631,000-sf Jo-Ann Stores Inc. West Coast Distribution Center at 2500 N. Plaza Drive from the fabrics store retailer for $24.7 million in a 20-year net lease deal, according to public filings by Jo-Ann Stores. Michael Katz of Richmond, VA-based REF Advisory LLC and Stanley Wyrwicz of REF Advisory’s Boston office served as financial advisers to the retail chain and negotiated the lease as well.

Ohio-based Jo-Ann Stores Inc. has been seeking to pay down some of its long-term debt, and selling the distribution center is one avenue it has pursued toward this goal. Katz, whose company has arranged some $2 billion in sale-leasebacks, tells GlobeSt.com that the transaction provided Jo-Ann with “an opportunity to monetize an important asset” at a time when the market for such deals is strong.

According to public filings by Jo-Ann stores, the lease starts with an initial term of 20 years with eight automatic five-year renewals unless the retailer chooses not to renew. Total scheduled rent payments during the initial term of the lease will be approximately $38.8 million.

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