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Pacific Coast Business Times: Buyers bag big grocery store deals

November 16, 2012

Buyers bag big grocery store deals

Santa Barbara, Calfornia – Published 11/16/2012
Pacific Coast Business Times
Buyers bag big grocery store deals
By Marlize van Romburgh, Staff Writer

The long-vacant former Home Depot site in Oxnard has been sold for $7.1 million, and the new owners are planning a multimillion-dollar refurbishment to breathe new life into the property as a large new Vallarta Supermarkets moves in.

The 108,382-square-foot retail property is on 11 acres at 2600 E. Vineyard Drive. It includes a 104,000-square-foot building that formerly housed a Home Depot and a 2,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by a Jack in the Box restaurant.

Home Depot closed its doors in 2002, and the property has been vacant since. The site was acquired by a developer who planned to build a condominium project, but as the housing market collapsed, that project was abandoned and the property was taken back by lender Wells Fargo, according to commercial real estate firm Lee & Associates-LA North/Ventura.

Jack in the Box had been in its space for the past 15 years.

“The buyer is redeveloping the existing buildings, and has already executed leases with Vallarta Supermarkets and Fallas Discount Stores,” John Battle, a principal at Lee, said in a statement. Battle, along with Paul Capra, represented seller Wells Fargo in the deal. “The addition of these two retailers to a location that had been shuttered for so long will go a long way to revitalizing the community.”

The brokers said that the new investor owners plan to spend about $5 million refurbishing the property. Vallarta has leased 63,000 square feet, Fallas Discount Stores will occupy 26,727 square feet, and the rest will be subdivided into pads of about 1,000 square feet each.

The Vallarta chain is based out of Sylmar and largely serves the Latino market. The new store, expected to open in the first quarter of 2013, will be its second location in Oxnard and its third in the Tri-Counties. Vallarta also has a Simi Valley store slated to open next summer.

Grocery stores are in fact proving to be hot commodities in the region. In Santa Barbara, the Trader Joe’s building on upper De La Vina St. recently changed hands. Investors bought the building for $8.75 million, according to brokers at Radius Commercial Real Estate & Investments.

And Fresh & Easy, the fast-growing grocery chain that recently opened on Milpas Street in Santa Barbara, has managed to secure all the permits for a new Goleta store at 5955 Calle Real, the former home of Santa Barbara Motorsports. (The motorcycle business moved to 6466 Hollister Ave. in Goleta earlier this year.) Fresh & Easy now has approvals to completely tear the Calle Real building down and build a brand-new store from the ground up. The grocer’s typical store size is 10,000 square feet. The Goleta location will be its seventh in the region.

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