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  • Writer's pictureLee ISG

Property With Largest Whole Foods in the West Fetches More Than $100 Million

Prime Location, Potential for Improvement Make Site Attractive in Pasadena, California

A more than three-acre block in Pasadena, California, that includes the biggest Whole Foods Market grocery on the West Coast has sold for $100 million to a local company that plans to redevelop some of the other storefronts in the center.

A property management company nearby in South Pasadena, acquired the 127,000-square-foot, five-parcel site at 465 Arroyo Parkway from Marc Ittah Trust, a family trust in Beverly Hills.

David Ickovics, principal at commercial real estate firm Commercial Asset Group, which represented the seller, said that Marc Ittah Trust sold the properties in order to reinvest the proceeds into the acquisition of a single, top-tier retail property that required less active management.

“We’re well on our way to achieving that goal," he said.

The off-market deal for the 100% leased property was part of a 1031 exchange, a sale arrangement that allows an investor to defer paying capital gains taxes if proceeds from a sale are used to buy a similar property.

The total sales price is the highest for retail properties sold in Pasadena for the past year, but on a per-square-foot basis it only narrowly cracks the top 10, according to CoStar records.

The latest deal includes a 77,000-square-foot building that houses the largest Whole Foods west of the Rocky Mountains, according to CoStar data. The store includes specialty features such as a seafood bar, a wine and tapas lounge, a juice bar and a massage room.

The sale also includes a number of less updated stores and a vacant restaurant on the same block, which could be updated to more modern standards. CoStar records show the company intends to make some undefined upgrades to the properties.

The property benefits from being within walking distance from two light rail stations as well as the Pasadena Convention Center, Huntington Hospital, and shops and restaurants in popular shopping and dining area Old Pasadena, according to Eric Duyshart, economic development manager for the city of Pasadena. It is also within a mile from a leading science university, California Institute of Technology.

The Pasadena grocery building was last sold in December 2007 for $54 million, or about $701 per square foot, according to CoStar data.

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