Atwater Marketplace sold to an unnamed buyer for $16.6 million. The 96,224-square foot shopping center is 100% occupied. Image via loopnet.com
Written by Edward Smith
A Fresno-based commercial real estate brokerage is claiming the largest retail transaction of the year — a shopping center sale that closed June 29 in Atwater in Merced County.
Atwater Marketplace sold to an unnamed buyer for $16.6 million, according to a news release from the Visintainer Group. Brett Visintainer represented the buyer. Kevin Fryman and Eric Wohl of Hanley Investment Group of Corona Del Mar represented the seller, Phillips Edison & Co.
Built in 2007, the 96,224-square foot shopping center is anchored by Save Mart Supermarkets and CVS Pharmacy. The shopping center has a wide variety of restaurants, including national brands Sonic and Round Table Pizza and regional brand Sourdough & Co.
Real estate information website CoStar confirms the transaction as the largest for a retail center in 2021 in Fresno, Tulare, Kings, Madera, Kern and Merced counties, Visintainer said.
Buyers have been clamoring for grocery-anchored shopping centers, said Visintainer, and having a CVS in addition to the Save Mart made the deal even better.
What the buyer liked about the property was the eight multi-tenant pads that house the 21 tenants. The buyer plans to sell off the free-standing buildings to different investors. With the exception of the Save Mart building, pads range from $1 million to $3 million. The buyer’s goal is to be out within nine to 12 months, said Visintainer. Some parcels are already selling, including the Round Table Pizza building.
Visintainer said the property has a “very healthy rent history.” Foot traffic from the Save Mart and the CVS helped keep smaller tenants busy. And while the previous owner, Phillips Edison & Co., did offer some degree of rent relief, interviews with the tenants indicated that business owners wanted to stay where they were. Chase Bank and Game Stop had both renewed leases during Covid. Occupancy went from low-90% to full occupancy in that time as well.
The pandemic has caused a bottleneck in investors, said Visintainer. The attraction toward essential businesses has made properties such as these competitive. The property had eight different offers, Visintainer said. The value of the property increased since pre-Covid.
“This property really showed the strong fundamentals you want to see for a retail center post-Covid,” Visintainer said.
The following are the largest commercial deals in the Central Valley for the past few years as reported to the Business Journal from real estate brokerages.
— $9.5 million sale of a 422,968-square-foot office space at Olive and Clovis avenues in Fresno in 2020. Tony Cortopassi with Cushman & Wakefield represented the seller.
— $18.2 million sale of 97,541 square-foot retail property at East Yosemite Avenue in Madera in 2019. Mark Henry with Colliers International represented the seller.
— $25.5 million sale of 49,950 square-foot-retail property at the 6500 block north of Riverside Drive in Fresno in 2018. Lewis Smith and Michael Kennedy of Retail California represented the seller. This sale included property at new shopping center Marketplace at El Paseo.
— $40.9 million lease of 670,680 square-foot commercial property at East Central and North East avenues in Fresno. Nick Audino with Newmark Pearson Commercial represented the seller.