Century City real estate investment and development firm Laurus Corp. has purchased a 163,000-square-foot, eight-story building in Pasadena for $52.5 million.
The property, at 199 S. Los Robles Ave., was sold by Heitman, a Chicago investment and management firm that bought the building in 2005 for nearly $43 million.
At $322 a square foot, the price paid for the 91 percent-leased building was another example of rising prices in a rebounding market.
“That is a higher price than what we’ve seen other buildings recently trade at,” said Scott Unger, a senior associate at Charles Dunn Co. Inc. Unger, who wasn’t involved in the deal, specializes in office leasing and sales in the San Gabriel Valley and Burbank-Pasadena-Glendale submarkets.
He noted that 234 E. Colorado Blvd., an older building with a better location between El Paseo and Old Pasadena, sold in October for about $296 a square foot. Down the street, 177 E. Colorado sold in March for about $278 a square foot. But an abundance of investment money in the market might have pushed up the price for 199 S. Los Robles, even though it’s not as close to Colorado.
“There’s just so much money available in the capital markets,” Unger said. “And Pasadena, through the cachet of a burgeoning tech scene, the Rose Parade, Rose Bowl, all those factors have this capital chasing product in the Pasadena market.”
Newport Beach investor Alere Property Group bought the 17.5-acre Cerritos West Industrial Park late last month, banking on its ability to take advantage of a tight industrial market by raising rents.
CBRE Global Investors sold the seven-building complex for $43.9 million, or $111 a square foot. The buildings at the property, bounded by 166th Street, Carmenita Road and Manning Way, range in size from 13,000 square feet to 34,000 square feet.
Barbara Emmons, the vice chairwoman at CBRE Group Inc. who represented both parties in the deal, said access to six major freeways, a submarket vacancy rate of 2.5 percent and the park’s 100 percent occupancy all fed the deal – as well as Alere’s confidence that there is plenty of upside.
“More of their strategy (on this deal) is to push the rental rates on the buildings,” she said. “When the vacancy is so low, you can push rental rates.”
CBRE analysts have predicted rental rates in the Mid-Cities submarket will grow 6.2 percent in 2015, Emmons said, because small businesses, which usually occupy business parks, have been rebounding as the economy improves and investors see them as able to withstand rent increases.
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