Restaurateur Fabio Conti is getting into the real estate game.
Through two LLCs, Conti sold his Italian restaurant in Hollywood then purchased a pair of retail shopping centers in Inland Empire for $35.6 million. The Riverside County sites total more than 157,800 square feet of space.
Conti sold the restaurant, Fabiolus Cucina at 6266 W. Sunset Boulevard, earlier this month for $18.6 million to Atlanta-based Invesco, property records show.
He then acquired the retail centers from two different sellers. CBRE’s Fred Aframian represented the buyer. The deal was part of a 1031 exchange, which allows investors to defer capital gains taxes by using funds from a sale to buy new property.
The retail properties include the 124,431-square-foot Menifee Town Center at 30121-30187 Antelope Road in Menifee. It is anchored by a Ralph’s grocery store. The property also features two acres of developable land. The seller was Weingarten Realty, which was represented by Reza Investment Group’s Ramez Barsoum and Aaron Bettencourt.
The smaller property is the recently-renovated 33,416-square-foot Barn at Wildomar, at 32395 Clinton Keith Road in Wildomar. It includes eateries and entertainment stores. The seller was a trust tied to Paul and Sonia Akian. Lee & Associates’ Mike Hanna and James Nadal advised on the deal.
Inland Empire’s retail landscape has been increasingly active after a spike in demand from a growing worker population and residential base. Asking lease rates are likely to continue to climb with demand as vacancies trickle downward.