Thomas Winery Plaza, a CVS anchored shopping center, had excellent curb appeal and a synergistic e-commerce resistant tenant line-up consisting of restaurant, service, and physical fitness-oriented tenants. Although the property had a desirable anchor draw, it had been marketed unsuccessfully by another firm for two years prior to Matthews™ taking over the listing. The property was also a former REO that contained an atypical layout with some second-floor office space and a history of low occupancy. At a $24M purchase price, the “tweener” deal was too small to interest institutional buyers yet almost too large for many private clients, and it was neither a core or value-add asset that truncated the buyer pool.
To revive interest in the deal, Matthews™ reframed the property’s story to be more compelling in attracting foreign and domestic capital. Considering several tenants had defaulted or vacated during the listing, the Matthews™ team worked closely with the seller on a leasing strategy that would shelter the downside by showing strong leasing demand and upside potential through increasing rents in the future. To achieve this, it was critical to position the property as a generational asset that provided long-term stability and pride of ownership as the most desirable retail investment in the market within this price point. The asset was priced toward the upper end of the market while being careful not to overprice it in order to generate strong competition from buyers to meet the seller’s high pricing expectations.
Matthews™ generated several offers on the property and then pitched to three investors against each other to obtain the highest pricing and provide certainty of close within the seller’s limited time frame provided. Ultimately, Matthews™ sourced an international buyer that paid all-cash and closed three weeks before the seller’s loan maturity. By working closely with the seller, Matthews™ was able to find solutions that diminished the loss of income during escrow, made the buyer feel comfortable with the income stream, and closed at 97% of the list price in less than 45 days under contract. Year-to-date, this transaction is the largest multi-tenant retail transaction in the Inland Empire.