ROIC Acquires Grocery-Anchored Portfolio for $114 Million

by Nate Hunter

San Diego — The properties include Cypress West, Redondo Beach Plaza, Harbor Place Center and Diamond Bar Town Center.

San Diego — Retail Opportunity Investments Corp. (Nasdaq: ROIC), a San Diego-based REIT, has closed on the purchase of three grocery-anchored shopping centers in Southern California and has a binding contract to acquire a fourth. The REIT paid about $114 million to acquire the four properties, which total 440,000 square feet.

The properties purchased by ROIC include Cypress West, Redondo Beach Plaza, Harbor Place Center and Diamond Bar Town Center, from a Southern California family in an off-market transaction. ROIC used an unsecured credit facility to finance the acquisition.

“We are excited to be acquiring this exceptional portfolio of Southern California shopping centers,” says Stuart Tanz, president and CEO of ROIC. “We accessed the transaction through a longstanding relationship.”

ROIC completed a total of $278 million in shopping center investments in 2012, which exceeded the company’s goal, says Tanz.

Cypress West is a 106,000-square-foot center anchored by Ralph’s Supermarket and Rite Aid. The property is located in Cypress in Orange County and is 94.1 percent leased. ROIC acquired the property for $27.6 million.

Redondo Beach Plaza spans approximately 111,000 square feet and is anchored by Von’s Supermarket. The property is 98.8 percent leased and is located in Redondo Beach, which is within the Los Angeles metropolitan statistical area (MSA). ROIC purchased the property for $30.8 million.

Harbor Place Center is a 120,000-square-foot shopping center anchored by an Albertson’s Supermarket and Ross Dress for Less. The fully leased property is located in Garden Grove in Orange County. ROIC bought the center for $27.7 million. Additionally, ROIC is in advanced discussions with national retailers to take over the Albertson’s space.

Diamond Bar Town Center is a 107,000-square-foot shopping center anchored by Walmart. The property is 91.2 percent leased and is located in Diamond Bar, which is within the Los Angeles MSA. ROIC has a binding acquisition contract for the property for $27.8 million. The company plans to close on the acquisition in the first quarter of 2013.

“The shopping centers are well-located at major intersections within densely populated communities, which we know extremely well, and are an excellent strategic fit with our current Southern California portfolio,” explains Tanz. “The four shopping centers represent a balance of stable cash flow, derived from well-established anchor retailers, and numerous value-added growth opportunities.”

In addition to the acquisition of the four shopping centers, ROIC also has contractual rights from the seller for first refusal to acquire three additional grocery-anchored shopping centers in Southern California. The properties include Hawthorne Plaza in Hawthorne, Plaza Del Sol in Burbank and Peninsula Marketplace in Huntington Beach.

ROIC’s stock price closed Monday at $12.85 per share, up from trading at $11.82 per share a year ago.

— John Nelson

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