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PASADENA, CA-A new two-story, 76,770-sf Whole Foods Market at Bellevue Center that is the chain’s West Coast flagship store and the largest Whole Foods location in the Western US has sold for $54 million. Reza Etedali, founder and CEO of Irvine-based Reza Investment Group, tells GlobeSt.com that the property occupies “an irreplaceable location” at 465 S. Arroyo Parkway, bordering the retail market of historic Old Town Pasadena.

“This asset will provide long-term value for the buyer,” comments Etedali, whose firm represented the seller, Ekstrand Enterprises. David J. Ickovics, senior managing director of Charles Dunn’s investment services group, represented the buyer, who is a private investor. Darrell R. Levonian, executive managing officer of Charles Dunn’s West L.A. office and Tanel Harunzade, director of the investment services group of Charles Dunn’s West L.A. office, acted as real estate consultants to the seller.

The Dunn brokers note that the entire 76,046-sf retail property is leased by Whole Foods, which opened the two-story market in November. The buyer purchased the center as part of a 1031 exchange and intends to keep the property as a long-term investment, says Ickovics.

Ickovics adds that the buyer was attracted to the deal due to the prime location of the site, exceptional area demographics and the future outlook of Whole Foods as a tenant. Based in Austin, TX, Whole Foods has more than 265 locations in North America and the United Kingdom, with more than 54,000 employees.

Etedali comments that the deal indicates the strong demand for quality retail investments despite the disruptions in the capital markets in recent months. “Over the past 45 days, our closed transactions have totaled approximately $150 million indicating the significant amount of equity in the market despite the volatile conditions of today’s capital market environment,” he says.

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