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BURBANK, CA-A 1031 exchange buyer has paid $28.75 million at a 5.58% cap rate in an all-cash deal for a 66,070-sf neighborhood center here, according to Irvine-based Faris Lee Investments. Faris Lee president Rich Walter, who represented the seller along with director Shaun Riley of Faris Lee, tells GlobeSt.com that the deal “didn’t really go hard until after the meltdown of CMBS market,” but financing was not an issue because the buyer paid all cash.

Walter says that the center, which is occupied by a Ralphs and a CVS drug store, drew strong investor interest from 11 bidders that ranged from “every category of buyer, from institutional to private” because it is such a quality property in a quality location. “Everybody wanted this deal,” the Faris Lee president says.

The two-building center is at the southwest corner of Victory Bouleard and Buena Vista Street at 2500–2600 W. Victory Blvd. It was built in 1998 and is situated on 6.37 acres. The surrounding Burbank area is regarded as one of the most desirable and proven areas in Southern California.

The buyer was Los Angeles-based AMC Associates LLC, which acquired the center from Univest Development Group of Scottsdale, AZ. Walter says that AMC Associates worked hard to win the deal because the property met AMC’s exchange requirements perfectly. Walter points out that despite the upward pressure on cap rates in today’s changing market, the 5.58% cap rate is one of the lowest ever paid for a market/drug-anchored shopping center in Los Angeles County.

According to Faris Lee’s Riley, the low cap rate illustrates a trend in the retail market: “Although cap rates are still moving and lenders have been more conservative on financing terms, there is an ample number of 1031 exchange buyers and others in the marketplace, especially for trophy properties like this one,” Riley says. Because of the lack of alternative investments today, sellers are still able to achieve cap rates which are near historic lows for the right properties, Riley points out.

Walter calls the pricing on the property “very aggressive.” He says that it commanded top dollar not only for its quality and location but also because of the lack of alternative investments for investors like the 1031 buyer, who sought a long-term stable asset. The buyer could have paid the tax on the sale of his 1031 exchange property and gone into another type of investment, Walter points out. He says buyer AMC’s plan from the outset was to pay all cash. AMC was represented by Steve Dietrich of Financial Research Group, Terry Marks of National Net Lease Realty and Clifford Letovsky of Letovsky Real Estate Corp.

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