Here are LA County’s biggest retail sales of 2019

The massive Hollywood & Highland complex topped the list, as did a couple of deals for shopping centers

Hollywood & Highland
Hollywood & Highland

The largest retail investment sale in Los Angeles this year is also something of a fixer-upper.

Gaw Capital USA and DJM Partners shelled out $325 million for the 450,000-square-foot Hollywood & Highland Center in August. It was by far the highest-priced retail sale in L.A. County’s top five in 2019.

The deal for the Hollywood retail complex was touted as the biggest single-asset transaction to close outside of Manhattan in three years. The buyers said they would renovate the property.

Two other deals that made this year’s list involved smaller shopping centers, with Blackstone Group’s retail arm, ShopCore Properties, the buyer on one of them.

Those shopping center deals — along with another that made the list, involving a large Whole Foods-leased property — may be a sign of the times. In 2018, prime retail storefronts dominated L.A. County’s top retail sales list. That’s when Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy acquired a pair of prime Rodeo Drive properties in Beverly Hills for a combined $355 million.

Hollywood & Highland Center, Hollywood — Gaw Capital USA, DJM Partners | $325M
In August, the U.S arm of China-based Gaw Capital Partners and DJM Partners picked up this sprawling retail and entertainment complex at 6801 Hollywood Blvd. from CIM Group and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

The 462,000-square-foot mall and entertainment venue spans five stories, and includes Dave & Busters, Sephora and Johnny Rockets, among others. The sale price was pegged at $703 per square foot. CIM owned the development for 15 years. Abu Dhabi, the sovereign wealth fund known as ADIA, invested $142 million when CIM Group recapitalized Hollywood & Highland in June 2013.

Gaw Capital and DJM described the recent sale as the largest single-asset retail transaction to take place outside of Manhattan in the past three years. Eastdil Secured brokered the deal.

The new owners plan on renovating the 7.6-acre property over the next two years.

Whole Foods, Pasadena — Kutzer Co. | $105M
South Pasadena-based Kutzer picked up this 80,000-square-foot Whole Foods-leased retail property and two acres of neighboring real estate in the off-market deal.

The transaction — pegged at $1,368 per square foot — was part of a 1031 exchange for the seller, which property records identify as Beverly Hills-based Marc Ittah Trust.

In all, the five-parcel assemblage is about three acres. Whole Foods has occupied the space since 2007, and it stands as the largest Whole Foods on the West Coast. Commercial Asset Group represented Kutzer in the deal, while the seller’s representative was not listed.

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Three auto dealership properties, West Covina — Ayman Sarriedine | $61M
Ayman Sarriedine acquired the properties in February from Roger Penske Jr., the former president of auto dealership organization Penske Automotive Group. Sarriedine controls a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Escondido.

Combined, the three properties totaled 254,500 square feet.

Two of the properties — Mercedes-Benz of West Covina and Audi of West Covina — are located at 2010 E. Garvey Ave. and 2016 E. Garvey Ave., respectively. They sold for a combined $48.7 million. Penske owned them since 1997 when he purchased each site for $3 million.

The third dealership, Toyota of West Covina, is on more than 84,000 square feet at 1800 E. Garvey Ave., and sold for $12.5 million.

Penske is the son of auto racing billionaire Roger Penske. His brother, Jay Penske, is chief executive of the eponymous media company that publishes Rolling Stone, Deadline and Variety.

Towne Center East, Signal Hill — ShopCore Properties | $61M
This Blackstone Group affiliate acquired the Home Depot-anchored Towne Center East shopping center in September. The sale worked out to $374 a square foot.

The seller was Phoenix-based BIG Shopping Centers USA Inc.

Towne Center East, located at 2450 E. Willow St., spans 163,000 square feet of rentable space. It is anchored by a 103,000-square-foot Home Depot and a 26,500-square-foot PetSmart store. A Wells Fargo bank branch and a UPS Store also are tenants.

Chicago-based ShopCore owns more than 50 retail properties and over 20 million square feet of space nationwide. They majority of its properties are retail centers. In July, the firm announced a partnership with Industrious to develop a co-working office at ShopCore’s One Colorado property in downtown Pasadena.

Coastal Market Plaza, Manhattan Beach — DSB Properties | $52M
This 35,000-square foot property sold at $1,643 per square foot in January. The shopping center is located at 601 and 707 N. Sepulveda Blvd. The anchor tenant is a newly-opened, 27,000-square-foot Gelson’s market.

The buyer, David Blatt, owns roughly a dozen shopping centers from San Diego to Ventura. He operates the retail centers through his property arm, DSB Properties.

The seller was Paragon Commercial Group.

Coastal Market Plaza consists of two structures. In addition to the Gelson’s, there is a separate 7,000-square-foot building that First Republic Bank leases.