Value-add shopping center investor unloads a slice of Walmart-anchored Orange County mall

Combined Properties sold off a 120K sf portion of 1M sf Foothill Ranch Towne Center

Marianne Lowenthal and an aerial view of the shopping center (Credit: Google Maps)
Marianne Lowenthal and an aerial view of the shopping center (Credit: Google Maps)

Across the U.S., developers have been finding new ways to transform lagging shopping malls by converting them into creative offices or residential complexes.

But in the Los Angeles area, real estate investors are still actively buying and selling smaller shopping centers, which have proven staying power.

In the latest move, Combined Properties sold a 121,800-square-foot property inside the Walmart and Target-anchored Foothill Ranch Towne Center in Orange County.

The developer unloaded the property for $22.25 million, according to Newmark Knight Frank, which advised on the sale. Combined Properties, which specializes in value-add shopping centers and mixed-use properties, had purchased the Lake Forest property four years ago. The property is fully leased to five tenants, including At Home Furnishings.

The buyer was an unnamed private family trust.

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NKF’s Pete Bethea and Rob Ippolito and Glenn Rudy represented the seller.

Combined Properties, which has offices in Beverly Hills and Washington, D.C., did not return calls for comment.

The sale comes at a time where mega-developers are buying underperforming regional malls and adapting them to other, more in-demand uses, from multifamily to creative office.

Lennar Corporation, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, scooped up the Santa Anita Plaza in Arcadia for $36.6 million in June. The deal included approved plans to transform the 58,000-square-foot center into a mixed-used property, with 80 residential units and 11,000 square feet of new retail space.

Hudson Pacific Properties and Macerich teamed up to reimagine the struggling Westside Pavilion mall in L.A. into a creative office campus, with a smattering of entertainment and retail. Google inked a lease for 584,000 square feet office space at the location, which won’t open until 2022.