Faris Lee Investments Completes $11.75 Million Sale Of The Town Center Ontario In Ontario, California
Faris Lee identifies international buyer looking to occupy a large portion of the center that was 85 percent vacant at the close of escrow
Ontario, CA – Faris Lee Investments, the nation’s largest retail-specialized investment sales and advisory team, has completed the $11.75 million sale of The Town Center Ontario, a 128,330-square-foot retail property that was 85 percent vacant at the close of escrow. Built in 2002, the center is situated on approximately 11.59 acres and is located at 701-769 N. Milliken Ave in Ontario, Calif. Faris Lee was able to secure an international buyer prepared to pay all cash for the location.
Donald MacLellan, senior managing director, Faris Lee Investments, and Richard Walter, president, Faris Lee Investments, represented the seller, LNR, based in Miami, FL. The buyer, who paid all cash, was Oxylane Groupe-Decathlon, one of the largest manufacturers of sports apparel and equipment in the world. Based in France, Oxylane Groupe-Decathlon was represented by Epsteen & Assoc./Samuels Company. With this transaction, the retailer has confirmed Ontario as one of its first U.S. retail locations. The buyer cited the high traffic location at the confluence of the I-10 and I-15 freeways across from Ontario Mills, California’s largest outlet and value retail shopping destination at 1.7 million-square-feet, as important to its decision. Ontario Mills attracts more than 20 million visitors annually.
Faris Lee also worked with Oxylane Groupe-Decathlon and the City of Ontario to ensure the site met the retailer’s plans for a store opening to be announced at a later date.
“At first the center was a major marketing challenge because of its 85 percent vacancy,” said MacLellan. “However through Faris Lee’s proprietary investor database we were able to utilize a national and international database of buyers to identify an owner-user who planned on occupying a large portion of the center.”
Faris Lee also had to work creatively with LNR to construct the transaction.
“Due to the property’s high vacancy, it fell into receivership. The property’s eventual foreclosure offered the buyer the ability to purchase a truly opportunistic property at a basis much lower than other competitive centers in the area,” Walter said. “The owner-user scenario was an ideal way to resolve the tenancy issue. We sought out this specific buyer category and worked closely with the loan servicers to ensure a smooth transaction.”
One of the final challenges was qualifying the investor as a legitimate buyer since Oxylane Groupe is new to the West Coast with no U.S.-based personnel.
“In this current market, we’re finding that distressed retail transactions require a strategic mix of expertise. The team needs to understand location, market timing and have a depth of experience working with everyone likely to be involved in the transaction including owners, lenders, retailers, servicers, receivers and, in this case, city officials, ” Walter added.
Town Center Ontario’s tenants include: Hooters, Denny’s, LA Carpet, Golden Chopstix and Arizona Leather Company. The property is bounded by the I-10 Freeway to the south and the I-15 Freeway to the east benefiting from 400,000 cars, on the average, traveling by the location daily. The high-profile Ontario location draws from a larger trade area than typical retail centers located up to 10 miles away and even further. This trade area includes more than 1 million people with an average household income of nearly $80,000.
About Faris Lee Investments
Operating from its Irvine, Calif. headquarters and New York City office, Faris Lee Investments is an advisory and brokerage firm specializing in retail real estate. The company’s team of high-level retail investment and financing experts develop forward-thinking strategies to maximize values of all retail acquisitions and dispositions and to guide clients through complex transactions. Cumulatively, the senior management team of Faris Lee has been involved in more than $20 billion of transactions. Faris Lee’s senior experts are skilled in disposition and acquisition strategies, 1031 exchanges, asset positioning and valuation, marketing, debt and equity structuring, strategic workout and REO solutions and execution. For more information, please visitwww.farislee.com.