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July 8, 2020
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Exchange Investor Spends $35.6 Mil on Two Inland Empire Retail Centers


Two retail shopping centers in the Inland Empire were acquired by a private local investor in deals totaling $35.6 mil. The assets, located in Menifee and Wildomar, offer a combined 157.8k sf of space.

One of the properties, Menifee Town Center, contains 124.4k sf and is located at 30121 - 30187 Antelope Rd, at the corner with Newport Rd in Menifee. It is anchored by a Ralph’s grocery store and features best-in-class retailers such as Ross, Dollar Tree as well as Living Spaces, a chain that has rapidly grown into a successful large format furniture retailer with 20 showroom locations in California, Arizona, and Nevada. The property also features two freestanding pad tenants -- Bank of America and AutoZone – and two acres of developable land parcel with freeway frontage.

The Barn at Wildomar
The Barn at Wildomar
The other property, The Barn at Wildomar, has 33.4k sf and is situated at 32395 Clinton Keith Rd in Wildomar. The life-style neighborhood center features various eateries and has served as an entertainment destination for neighboring towns such as Murrieta and Wildomar. It sits in proximity to the affluent neighborhoods of Bear Creek and La Cresta Estates in addition to the newly built Lennar developments. The site has undergone a complete renovation, featuring outdoor patios, multiple dining options and a mix of internet-resistant tenants.

CBRE’s Fred Aframian represented the 1031 exchange buyer, a private Hollywood-based family-office. According to Aframian, this was a complicated transaction that required divesting of the buyer’s previously owned property in Hollywood while simultaneously negotiating and closing on these two transactions, with two different sellers.”

“Assets that feature a variety of service- and entertainment-related offerings have done very well. Especially in a market such as the Inland Empire, which has experienced a tremendous population growth and continues to evolve into a true live-work-play environment,” noted Aframian. “This buyer was highly attracted to the huge difference in income these two properties represented as compared with the asset in Hollywood -- a six-fold increase in annual income.”

The seller of Menifee Town Center, a national real estate investment trust, was represented by Reza Investment Group’s Ramez Barsoum and Aaron Bettencourt. The seller of The Barn at Wildomar was repped by Lee & Associates’ Mike Hanna and James Nadal.

The Inland Empire’s retail landscape has been increasingly vibrant due to an influx of demand from a growing employee and residential base, according to CBRE’s Q1 report. High demand for retail space and a growing population will ensure leasing activity will stay strong in the region through the remainder of 2019. Asking lease rates are likely to continue to climb in step with demand as vacancies are expected to trickle downward.

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