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MESA, AZ-Pollack Real Estate Investments has ended its 15-year hold on the 82,373-square-foot Village Grove Shopping Center, accepting $5 million for the 1970s retail center. Buyer Hanhil Properties Inc. ended up with the asset following a nine-month marketing period.

“This was well-marketed and had a fairly short escrow,” comments listing broker Ari Spiro with Orion Investment Real Estate Solutions in Scottsdale, AZ. Spiro, who shared marketing duties with Orion colleague Sean Stutzman explains the lengthy marketing period for the asset at 1927 N. Gilbert Rd. represented the sign of the times more than anything else.

Though the asset was well-marketed and it did attract potential buyers, “it’s been really difficult for sellers to know what price to take, and buyers to know what price to pay in the absence of any comps,” Spiro tells GlobeSt.com. “Price discovery has been very difficult.” As a result, he goes on to say, the property attracted what he called “semi-committed offers.” “The activity was there,” he adds, “but there wasn’t really a strong commitment from any buyer.”

Southern California-based Hanhil Properties ended up with a 96%-leased asset and an assumed loan carrying an interest rate of around 6%. Spiro points out that the in-place financing, which had been regarded as a hindrance earlier in 2009 because it required 50% down, became more appealing by the end of the year. “In the current lending environment,” he says, “that loan became very attractive.”

Hanhil, which was represented by Fred Fardoost of Realty Investments, plans to hold the asset long-term. “This was a solid deal and below replacement cost,” Spiro remarks. “This is one that they could feel confident that, if they were to lose a tenant, they’d be able to replace the rent because Pollack has kept rents historically low in the center.”

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