Activity in the San Gabriel Valley industrial market remained slow last quarter, reflecting the state of the region's ports, not to mention the economy.

The overall vacancy rate rose slightly to 4.3 percent during the April-June period, according to Grubb & Ellis Co. That was more than one point higher than the L.A. County average, and a big change from the second quarter of 2008, when the tight market clocked in with just a 1.6 percent vacancy rate.

"There's been about a 20 percent decline in total container volume," said Greg Matter, vice president, Jones Lang LaSalle. "Since the San Gabriel Valley is a major hub for Asian imports in particular, that's continuing to take its toll."

In one of the market's larger deals of the quarter, Orange County Container Group sold and leased back a 226,938-square-foot industrial building it occupies in City of Industry to NL Ventures VII Baldwin LLC, a subsidiary of AIC Ventures.

"It's an indicator of where things are headed," Matter said. "We're going to continue to see sale-leasebacks as some of these industries try to raise capital."

As some businesses pack it in or consolidate to smaller facilities, the abundance of space up for sublease has continued to chip away at direct rental rates. Asking rents fell 2 cents during the second quarter, to 46 cents, 5 cents lower than the county average, and down from 57 cents during the same period a year ago.

The market gave back 962,000 square feet of space, but that was better than the first quarter when the figure hit 1.8 square million.

Industrial Market At a Glance

Inventory: 179 million square feet

Under Construction: 0

Asking Rents: 46 cents

MAIN EVENTS

- Orange County Container Group sold and leased back a 226,938-square-foot industrial building that its sheet metal division occupies at 440 N. Baldwin Park Blvd. in City of Industry. NL Ventures VII Baldwin LLC, a subsidiary of AIC Ventures, bought the building for $13.8 million. The 47-year-old structure includes 15,000 square feet of office and more than 211,000 square feet of industrial space.

- The City of Industry acquired an office building for $9.5 million from the Edward Roski Trust. The two-story, 30,000-square-foot building, at 15625 E. Stafford St., was built in 1980.

- Private investors Venkata and Parvathi Donthineni bought the Pomona Grove Apartments in Pomona for $7.15 million from Tripeak LLC. The Pomona property, at 1302 E. Kingsley Ave., consists of three complexes totaling 95 units and 76,084 square feet.

- Patio furniture manufacturer Yotrio Corp. inked a five-year lease for 20,933 square feet of space in a multitenant industrial building in the City of Industry. The property, at 708 Nogales St., totals 71,460 square feet. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

- Tridocs Properties LLC, a group of three doctors, bought a 10,000-square-foot Arcadia office building for $3 million from Gordon and Kathleen Maddock. The buyers, Rajesh Chawla, Scott Herman and Kirit Shah, plan to convert the building at 900 S. First Ave. to medical offices.

- DeVry University, which provides classes in business, technology and management, opened a location at 1000 S. Fremont Ave. in Alhambra. It's the school's 14th location in California.

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