FOUNTAIN VALLEY, CA-A 30,000-square-foot portion of the 200,000-square-foot Fountain Valley Plaza at 16201 Harbor Blvd. has traded for $9.6 million at a 7.5% cap rate, according to listing agents Ken Chasin and David Chasin, president and vice president respectively of Encino-based Pegasus Investments. David Chasin tells that the sale of the property, which is occupied by a Walgreens and a Fresh & Easy market, represents one of the largest retail transactions in Southern California this quarter.

Chasin says that the property’s in-fill Orange County location, at the northwest corner of Harbor Boulevard and Edinger Avenue, combined with high traffic counts and rare scheduled increases in the Walgreens lease, helped generate over 20 offers. He notes that Pegasus helped the seller, a Los Angeles-based private investor, evaluate the offers and ultimately selected the buyer, who closed in less than 45 days and already had financing lined up.

Fresh & Easy, created by British retail giant Tesco PLC, has lately been the subject of some controversy regarding its growth strategies. “Getting people comfortable with Fresh & Easy was an obstacle during our marketing process, but once investors drove the site they realized the strong real estate fundamentals behind the asset,” Chasin says. The property was originally built as a Smart & Final store, then completely remodeled by Santa Ana-based Red Mountain Retail in 2008.

“Investors are looking for safe places to park cash right now, and they don’t necessarily want to go out of state to chase yield like they used to,” Chasin adds. Both tenants had at least 20 years remaining on their leases. The buyer, a private investor, was represented by John Repstad, Mark Repstad and Jim Abbott Jr. of Realty Advisory Group Inc.

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