The Edge Retail Center, a fully leased development within an El Segundo office park, has sold, showing that well-positioned properties can move even in the current economic climate.

Santa Monica real estate investor David Khedr paid about $11.3 million for the 18,549-square-foot shopping center at the corner of Douglas Street and Maple Avenue in a deal that closed in late January.

The center was developed by San Francisco-based AMB Property Corp. and Torrance-based Mar Ventures Inc., which co-developed the adjacent Edge office park itself part of a larger, 47-acre business park called Campus El Segundo.

The 15-building Edge office park opened in April, providing a built-in base of workers who frequent the shopping center, which started opening in phases the same month. Tenants include Starbucks, Noah's Bagels and Xceed Financial Credit Union, among others.

"You have all this surrounding office that exists, as well as the community in the Holly Glen neighborhood to the east and the balance of the El Segundo population to the west," said Richard Rizika of CB Richard Ellis Group Inc., who represented AMB and Mar Ventures in the sale. "That area probably still is, to a great extent, underserved by retail."

Khedr said he decided to buy the center after visiting it several times and observing the variety of customers that frequent the property.

"It is really good during the day. It is always busy," Khedr said. "On the weekend I liked it because there is a soccer field across the street, so there is a lot of activity. It is good for the community, it is very convenient."

Rafael Padilla of Par Commercial Brokerage Inc. represented Khedr. Dan Hoogesteger, Hook McCullough and Mike Grannis of CB Richard Ellis also represented the seller.

Fresh Start

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Inc., the U.S. grocery chain started by British grocery giant Tesco PLC, is coming to Pasadena.

The company, which has 113 locations in Southern California, Phoenix and Las Vegas, has signed a 20-year lease at 603-605 S. Lake Ave. in the South Lake retail district.

The value of the lease, signed Jan. 2, was not disclosed. The landlord of the three-tenant property, which includes a Peet's Coffee & Tea and Noah's Bagels, is Furst Enterprises, a West L.A.-based real estate investor.

"This was a prime piece of real estate we had drugstores, everyone looked at it," said Dave Maron of brokerage Stevenson Real Estate Services, who represented the landlord in the deal. "We thought Fresh & Easy would be the best fit for the market."

Matthew Rodman, managing director of Furst, said Fresh & Easy and his company will spend about a total of $3 million building the new store, which will open midyear.

Fresh & Easy is substantially remodeling a former Wild Oats Market at the site and will open a 14,000-square-foot grocery in place of the former store, said Rodman. The Wild Oats Markets Inc. grocery chain was purchased by Whole Foods Market Inc. in 2007 and the Wild Oats grocery store was closed last year.

Brendan Wonnacott, spokesman for Fresh & Easy, said the company does not comment on details of forthcoming locations.

Fresh & Easy was represented by Mark Shenouda of Pacific Retail Partners.

Redlands Lease

Watson Land Co. has signed a tenant for a large warehouse and distribution center it built speculatively in unincorporated San Bernardino County near Redlands.

Kenco Logistics Services LLC of Chattanooga, Tenn., signed a 60-month lease for the 517,346-square-foot building at 26875 Pioneer Ave. The deal is valued at more than $11 million; the lease rate was not disclosed.

Despite the downturn in the industrial real estate market that has hit the Inland Empire hard, the Carson-based industrial developer didn't have trouble leasing the building.

"We were finishing the building at the end of January and were getting the final inspections and we got an offer and leased it," said Lance Ryan, vice president of leasing and marketing for Watson. The lease will start in April.

Kenco's new building is the first of five warehouses totaling 2.5 million square feet that Watson plans to build, Ryan said. The rest of the project also will be developed on a speculative basis.

Ron Washle and Mark Kegans of Grubb & Ellis Co. represented Kenco, and Watson was represented by Tom Taylor, Steve Bellitti and Josh Hayes of Colliers International.

Staff reporter Daniel Miller can be reached at dmiller@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 549-5225, ext. 263.

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