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SAN DIEGO-Janez Group has acquired the 159,000-sf Genesee Executive Plaza in the La Jolla Golden Triangle/ University Towne Center area for $56 million, or $350 per sf., the fourth San Diego-area property that Janez has acquired in the last two years, representing more than $100 million in investments in the area.

San Diego-based Janez acquired the property in a joint venture with El Segundo, CA-based PCCP LLC. Janez and PCCP acquired the two-building, 90% leased office plaza through an affiliate, PCCP Janez Genesee, LLC, according to Janez. The seller of the property, Arden Realty, was represented by Eastdil Secured. Janez represented itself in the transaction.

GE Capital provided financing for the acquisition, but Janez executives declined to offer details on the arrangement, only to say that the loan term was in the range of five years.Located on a 3.6-acre site in the Golden Triangle/UTC submarket at 9333 and 9339 Genesee Ave., the Genesee Plaza consists of two, three-story, 80,000-sf office buildings, constructed with steel frame and glass exterior in 1983. Major tenants include Fed Ex, IGO Medical Group and First Pacific Bank.

Office demand in the Golden Triangle/UTC has grown at 5% annually over the past decade, according to Ryan Gilbert, vice president of Janez. Gilbert says Janez is “bullish on San Diego,” and specifically the Golden Triangle/UTC area because of the growing number of biotech and legal firms here. Genesee Executive Plaza is also close to the UCSD Medical Center and Scripps Memorial Hospital, and more than 30% of the plaza is zoned for medical use.

“I think it’s where the good jobs have been located,” Gilbert says. “The biotech firms and the law firms draw each other to the area, because the law firms down here typically deal with intellectual property rights, which interests the biotech firms. Those two markets have sort of been the greatest drivers of the economy in terms of office demand.”

He also believes the presence of upscale communities near the Golden Triangle/UTC area, such as La Jolla, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar and Carmel Valley, will continue to fuel future office demand.

Janez plans to implement capital renovations and improvements that will enhance the plaza’s attractiveness, especially the growing number of medical professionals in the area, Gilbert says, adding that the business plan calls for increasing cash flow and improving the facility with the addition of a new roof, upgraded elevators and other energy efficiencies.

“We think that there’s no significant rollover in the first few years, and none really in later years,” Gilbert says of the acquired property. “We expect San Diego to outperform the overall economy in the US.”

Janez has been actively seeking acquisitions throughout the west and has recently acquired suburban office and industrial properties in Houston, Denver and Phoenix, with added focus on the San Diego area, Gilbert says, adding, “This is our fourth acquisition in San Diego in the last two years.” Gilbert notes those San Diego acquisitions, both office and industrial, represent an investment value of over $100 million.

The recent deals include: the October 2007 purchase of the Hitachi Building, a 82,520-sf office/R&D building in Chula Vista, CA for $16 million; the April 2007 purchase of the 206,708-sf Disguise Building in Poway, CA for $26.5 million in a joint venture with CB Richard Ellis Investors LLC of Bellevue, WA; the July 2006 purchase of the 147,907-sf Parkway Commerce Center in Poway for $22 million in a joint venture with Newport Beach-based Buchanan Street Partners.

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