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NORTHRIDGE, CA-A joint venture of Irvine-based CIP Real Estate and an investment fund of Alex Brown Realty Inc. has sold the 90,344-sf Northridge Promenade to CORE Realty Holdings LLC of Newport Beach for $22 million after repositioning the property in a value-added play, according to CIP. Chuck McKenna, principal with CIP, explains that the deal follows a four-year business plan in which the CIP venture revamped the complex of four retail buildings in a multi-million-dollar renovation and has now turned over the asset “to a buyer who was seeking an opportunity for long-term ownership.”

Northridge Promenade, situated on a five-acre site, features a mix of national and regional companies, including anchor tenants Guitar Center, Beverages & More (BevMo), Keller Williams and LA Buffet. When the CIP partnership bought the center in 2002, it was 70% vacant and was called Northridge Marketplace.

The CIP venture’s capital upgrades included the construction of the largest retail store of the Guitar Center chain in California at more than 15,000 sf. Other renovations and improvements included upgrades to building facades, parking lots and landscaping along with new sidewalks and roofs.

The revamped and renamed center is nearly 95% leased and offers “strong curb appeal and tenant identity,” Mckenna says. The center caters to small and medium size in-line users ranging from approximately 1,000 sf to 4,000 sf, among them restaurants, financial and real estate services, dentistry and educational services.

In addition to its improvements and increased occupancy, the Northridge Promenade benefits from its location adjacent to the Northridge Fashion Center as well as its freeway and highway access from Nordhoff Street. According to Aaron Cook, EVP and national sales manager for CORE Realty, the investment appealed to CORE for a number of reasons.

In addition to its strategic location in a tight retail market, Cook says, those factors included the property’s high occupancy level and the long terms remaining on the anchor leases. He points out that both anchor tenants, Guitar Center and BevMo, are just one year into their 10-year leases, and collectively they represent more than one-third of the total square footage at the center.

The sale of the center was brokered by the Sacramento-based Palmer Team. The CIP joint venture, in its repositioning of the property, worked with Sylvia Mac Aller, SVP and partner with TOLD Partners of Woodland Hills.

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