Rexford buys into gap left by Mitsuwa’s move to South Bay mall

Paid $19M for Japanese-American grocer’s former spot in Torrance

Los Angeles /
Oct.October 22, 2021 02:46 PM
Michael S. Frankel (Co-Chief Executive Officer and Director, Rexford Industrial) & 21515 S Western Ave (Google Maps, rexfordindustrial.com)

Rexford Industrial will fill a gap left in Torrance by Japanese-American grocery store Mitsuwa Marketplace’s move to a mall –– but it’s not saying what it plans for the spot amid the shifting landscape of the South Bay’s biggest city.

Rexford, which included some details of the deal in a report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commision, paid $18.95 million for 21515 Western Avenue. The property has a total of 56,199 square feet, bringing the price per square foot for the transaction at $337.

The seller is Property Resources in Torrance, property records show. The company acquired the two-story building–– a through-lot with frontage on both Western and Mullin avenues –– in 2007.

The property had been home to a Mitsuwa Market store and food court. It is flanked by a Daiso discount store and Miyako Hybrid Hotel, both of which reflect the longtime standing of the South Bay and Torrance in particular as centers of Japanese-American population and culture as well as Japan-based corporations with operations in the U.S.

The area lost a key connection along those lines when Toyota moved its U.S. headquarters from Torrance to Texas in 2017.

It is unclear what Rexford, which described the former retail location as a “4 acre development site,” plans to do with the property. The firm did not respond to a request for comment.

Mitsuwa’s lease on the site expired in October 2019, according to a brochure from commercial brokerage firm Highland Partners. The grocer has since moved its Torrance location to Simon Property’s Del Amo Fashion Center at 3525 West Carson Street.

According to its website, Mitsuwa has a total of seven locations in California markets with significant Japanese-American populations, with the same focus for stores in Illinois, Hawaii, New Jersey and Texas, where it opened in Plano as Toyota was setting up its new headquarters in the Dallas suburb.

The deal comes during a particularly active month for Rexford. A few weeks ago, the firm paid nearly $300 million for three industrial properties in South Bay and Inland Empire. Its latest acquisitions include an 80-acre industrial storage site at 2500 East Victoria Street in Rancho Dominguez and two industrial sites in Ontario.

Earlier this month, the company also figured in a legal dispute with a tenant in Santa Clarita. The firm sued Stephen Mastey, the head of hair care firm DermOrganic Laboratories, claiming that it was owed $43,000 in unpaid rent. Mastey has since responded with his own lawsuit, alleging that Rexford performed an illegal eviction due to Los Angeles County’s commercial eviction moratorium.





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