Fields Holdings Adds Another Retail Center in SoCal

Firm agreed to pay $28.8 million for a 92,950-square-foot, grocery-anchored shopping center

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It’s been a big day for retail real estate in Orange County, Calif.

Commercial Observer can first report that Fields Holdings has agreed to pay $28.8 million for Palm Center, a 92,950-square-foot, grocery-anchored shopping center in the city of Orange. This deal follows the $39.5 million sale of Gateway Center in Orange County, which was also announced Wednesday. Additionally, it was announced last week that L.A.-based Fields Holdings acquired the Brentwood Shopping Center in Los Angeles for $30 million.

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Colliers announced the Palm Center deal and represented the seller, Corning Development. It’s the first change in ownership since the property was developed in 1971.

“The seller was Australia-based, and this was their last owned asset in the U.S.,” said Colliers’ El Warner, who brokered the deal on behalf of the seller with Charley SimpsonJordan Gomez, and Caitlin Zirpolo. “After our team generated 16 offers, the property was purchased by a Los Angeles-based investor who was in a 1031 exchange from the sale of an apartment property. The buyer plans on renovating the shopping center and holding the property long-term.”

Palm Center is located on 8.1 acres at 934–970 North Tustin Street. Albertsons has been the anchor tenant for more than 30 years. Other tenants include The UPS Store, O’Reilly Auto Parts, UFC Gym, Aqua-Tots Swim Schools and America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses. Colliers said the sale represents continued demand for quality retail properties with upside in booming U.S. markets. 

“Eleven billion dollars in retail traded hands across the U.S. in November of 2021, the highest level on record in the last decade,” Warner told CO in a statement. “Demand is robust as both 1031 exchanges increased and institutional capital returned into the retail investment space.” 

He added that the pandemic proved retail’s resiliency with increased buyer demand that significantly outpaced supply, creating cap rate compression and additional competition.

“Accelerated interest and limited supply have created an incredibly bullish market for retail moving into 2022,” he said. “Under the current economic conditions, property owners willing to market an asset will see a tremendous return. Legacy properties remain extremely attractive to buyers looking to capitalize on long-term yield.”

Gregory Cornfield can be reached at gcornfield@commercialobserver.com.