A Mediterranean-style retail building on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica recently sold for $15.5 million, or $1,582 a square foot, according to brokerage NAI Capital.

A Mediterranean-style retail building on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica recently sold for $15.5 million, or $1,582 a square foot, according to brokerage NAI Capital.

A Mediterranean-style retail building on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica recently sold for $15.5 million, or $1,582 a square foot, according to brokerage NAI Capital.

The deal marked the first time the property, called Piazza Montana, traded hands since it was built in 2001, according to public records.

The buyer, Beverly Hills-based DR Investments, plans to eventually occupy one of the second-floor offices in the 9,799-square-foot building, said Ted Zwicker, a senior vice president at NAI who represented the firm on the deal.

The seller, Norman A. Rubin & Associates, agreed to the all-cash, off-market deal nearly two years ago, but put off the closing date until finding other properties to invest in, Zwicker added. The transaction closed March 29.

The transaction comes as retail properties in desirable Santa Monica shopping areas trade between $1,000 and $1,500 a square foot.

“Montana is probably the second-best street in the Santa Monica-Venice area, with Abbott Kinney being best, and Montana second in line,” Zwicker said.

The property is fully leased with tenants including Massage Envy, Frozen Fruit Co., and Panache Coiffure. Montana Avenue retail rents range from $4 to $5 a square foot, Zwicker said.

“The rents have been continuously improving, and quality of tenants has been upgraded on a regular basis,” he said.

In addition to its retail and office space, the two-story building also has a pair of apartment units on the second floor.

DR Investments is headed by Daniel Gottlieb and Richard Gottlieb, who were principals with publicly traded real estate investment trust G&L Realty Corp. before it went private in 2006.

Real estate reporter Daina Beth Solomon can be reached at dsolomon@labusinessjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter @dainabethcita for the latest in L.A. real estate news.