Deka Group Picks Up Santa Monica Whole Foods for $54M

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Ring it up. 

Commercial Observer has learned that Germany-based Deka Immobilien, which is the real estate investment arm for Deka Group, acquired a Whole Foods Market grocery store in Santa Monica, Calif., to tap into the healthy state of grocery retail amid the pandemic. The firm paid $54.3 million for the 29,064-square-foot, single-tenant retail building, sources said.

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Santa Monica-based Tooley Interests sold the property at 2121 Cloverfield Boulevard. Records show Germany-based Bayerische Landesbank provided $26 million in financing for the property in November. Deka added the property via its open-ended real estate fund, Deka-ImmobilienNordamerika, as its second investment on the West Coast.

“Since grocery stores are experiencing record sales, we were drawn to this stand-alone, single-tenant Whole Foods Market, as it is the perfect investment for a long-term investor,” said Driss Oualkadi, president of Deka Immobilien in the U.S. 

Tooley acquired the property in 2013 and significantly renovated the space before securing Whole Foods for a long-term lease in 2017. It’s just off Pico Boulevard less than a half-mile from the 10 Freeway.

JLL’s Gleb Lvovich, Geoff Tranchina, Bryan Ley and Dan Tyne represented the seller. 

“The sale of Whole Foods Santa Monica demonstrates continued demand for net-leased real estate in strong locations with credit and a durable business,” Lvovich said.

Grocery stores in particular have emerged from the pandemic as a safe haven for investors. In 2021, an Amazon Fresh grocery store on L.A.’s Westside sold for $35 million, and LoanCore Capital provided $63.78 million in refinancing for the 14.5-acre Midtown Shopping Center, anchored by a major regional grocery store. Additionally, high-end supermarket chain Gelson’s signed a long-term lease at the highly anticipated West Edge mixed-use development.

Deka Immobilien is one of the largest global real estate investment companies in Europe, and is most active on the East Coast. But at the end of 2020, the firm acquired a 22-story office tower in Downtown L.A. for $196 million.

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