The Real Deal Los Angeles

Merlone Geier buys land underneath retail plaza for $15M

SF firm bought the leasehold for about $31M in 2013
By Cathaleen Chen | February 27, 2017 03:15PM

Bradley Geier, co-founder of Merlone Geier, and the plaza at 345 South Lake Avenue

Merlone Geier Partners finally set its foot on the ground — that is, the ground underneath its 131,000-square-foot retail asset in Pasadena.

The San Francisco-based firm recently bought the land under 345 and 401 South Lake Avenue for about $15.1 million from Macy’s, according to multiple sources. The $65-per-square-foot sale comes more than three years after Merlone acquired the leasehold from Vornado for $31.1 million, property records show.

Over 60 years remain on the lease term, according to Hanley Investment Group, which represented Macy’s in the sale.

Dubbed the Shops, the retail complex is anchored by a Macy’s department store, which was not part of the sale. Other tenants include T.J. Maxx, Trader Joe’s and several restaurants.

Despite its national closures, Macy’s has no plans to close or sell this Pasadena store, according to Hanley executive vice president Carlos Lopez, who worked on the deal with colleague Lee Csenar. Merlone Geier represented itself.

Merlone, along with JV partner Goldstein Planting Investments, are behind the NoHo West development in North Hollywood, one of the biggest projects in L.A. County, which was approved by the City Council in December 2016. Under the partners’ plans, 6150 Laurel Canyon Boulevard would be transformed into a mixed-use community with apartments, shops, restaurants and office space.