L&B Realty Advisors LLC has purchased a nine-building industrial portfolio in Torrance for $38.1 million in the South Bay’s largest portfolio sale this year.

The Dallas-based real estate investment and advisory company bought the 318,262-square-foot portfolio for $120 per square foot from TA Associates Realty, a Boston real estate adviser and investor. The portfolio is 98 percent leased to 11 tenants, which include Simpson Performance Products, W.W. Grainger and Global Transportation Services.

TA bought the Class A properties in 2008 as part of a larger 12-building portfolio that cost it $52 million, or about $118 per square foot, and made some money on the deal.

L&B has a diverse portfolio nationwide, but only 7 percent is industrial and only a few properties are in Los Angeles, including the Cheli Distribution Center in Bell. It is entering a South Bay market that is strongly industrial, but is tied to port traffic and has taken a hit from the weak economy.

“It’s rare to have a property of this nature in the South Bay market,” said CBRE Group Inc. broker Darla Longo who represented the seller. “Most of the buildings in the South Bay are big boxes. This is a project that caters to mid- to smaller-size companies, and that’s what makes this portfolio unique.”

The properties range in size from 3,003 square feet to 52,069 square feet. Six are on the 1300 block of Storm Parkway, and one each on West 240th Street, and Normandie and Frampton avenues. They were built between 1982 and 2008, and feature office space, ample parking and up to 28-foot ceilings.

Also representing the seller were CBRE brokers Kevin Shannon, Barbara Emmons and Scott Schumacher.

Down Under Move

Australian clothing manufacturer Cotton On has substantially expanded its U.S. headquarters and distribution facility as the company continues to grow here.

The Victoria-based company signed a 10-year deal to lease almost 181,000 square feet at the 16509 Trojan Way building in the Mc&C Commerce Center/La Mirada industrial complex.

The lease represents an 116,000-square-foot expansion from its former location at 623 E. Artesia Blvd. in Carson. The La Mirada building is owned by investor group MC&C/JA, whose managing partner is McGranahan Carlson & Co., a Fullerton real estate developer and investor.

The space will allow Cotton On, which makes youth-oriented clothing, to bring more inventory into the United States as it continues to grow. The company has 19 stores in Southern California, almost 80 nationwide and nearly 900 worldwide. It has a goal to open 2,016 stores globally by 2016.

The Trojan Way building, constructed in 2002, totals 497,000 square feet. Cotton On is taking over space that was occupied by logistics company AP Express and previously occupied by Weber Distribution. Staples, the current tenant, will share the building with Cotton On.

“This building has had very minimal downtime since it was built in large part because of its central location and state-of-the-art design and features,” said CBRE broker Rick McGeagh who represented the landlord.

Also representing the landlord were CBRE brokers Josh Bonwell and Steve Young.

Cotton On, which will move in this month, declined to comment.

Expanding Portfolio

Swig Co. LLC is under contract to buy a downtown L.A. office building for $39 million.

The San Francisco private real estate investment company is buying a Class A historic building at 617 Seventh St. from Denver’s Alliance Commercial Partners, which has owned it since 2006.

The 12-story building was developed in 1923 to serve as the world headquarters for Union Oil Co. Today, it is 86 percent leased to tenants that include Chicago School of Professional Psychology and CyberDefender Corp.

It would be the second area purchase Swig has made in the last month, effectively doubling its L.A. portfolio. In October, it bought 595 E. Colorado Blvd., a nearly 86,000-square-foot office building in Pasadena from Equity One for $16.7 million. It also owns Arco Center, a Long Beach office building, and Arbors at Warner Center Apartment Homes in Woodland Hills.

However, most of its 9 million-square-foot portfolio is in Northern California and especially its headquarters city of San Francisco. It also has buildings in New York and Washington, D.C.

Representatives for Swig did not return calls for comment.

Staff reporter Jacquelyn Ryan can be reached at jryan@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 549-5225, ext. 228.

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