Shopping center

JH Real Estate Partners buys Inland Empire shopping center

Hugo Aviles, CEO of JH Real Estate Partners, and the property at 16701 Valley Boulevard (Google Maps, JHREP)

Investors are hot for industrial property in the Inland Empire – and they’re gearing up for retail, too.

JH Real Estate Partners has purchased a 310,000 square foot shopping center in Fontana for $70.8 million, CBRE reported Thursday. The brokerage represented the seller, The Baralat Company, based in Westlake-Village, in connection with the transaction.

The deal is the highest overall price paid for a commercial building in the Inland Empire since 2018. The sale came in at around $228 per square foot, well ahead of other fully leased commercial properties anchored by other types of stores. In the Inland Empire municipality of Montclair, a 136,000 square foot shopping center fully leased to Ross Stores is on the market for $25 million, or about $184 per square foot.

JH Real Estate Partners secured a loan from Wells Fargo for the purchase at Fontana Records Show.

Located at 16701 Valley Boulevard, the 16-building retail complex is leased to a range of tenants – from Regency Theaters to Burlington Coat Factory to Taco Bell. The mall is anchored by Cardenas Market, a Hispanic grocery store.

Demand for the property has been spurred by its location — located along Highway 10 and across from a Kaiser Permanente medical facility, according to CBRE’s Patrick Wade.

Retail centers anchored in Southern California grocery stores have performed well relative to other retail categories during the pandemic, driving demand from institutional investors.

According to CBRE, tenants are expected to take up more retail space over the course of the year, which will eventually reduce vacancy rates.