Loja buys shopping centre in Washington

The California-based investment manager has purchased its first out-of-state asset: a grocery-anchored shopping centre in Washington State. It purchased the property from a local operator for $39 million.

Loja Real Estate, on behalf of one of its separate account clients, has purchased a shopping centre in Auburn, Washington, for $39.4 million, or $251 per square foot. The acquisition of Lakeland Town Centre, a 125,000-square-foot shopping centre with 27 retail tenants, marks the Walnut Creek, California-based real estate investment firm's third acquisition and its first outside of California.

Loja, a subsidiary of the Loja Group, purchased Lakeland Town Centre from Lakeland Town Centre II, a limited partnership managed by Tarragon Property Services of Sumner, Washington. The property, which is located within a planned residential community with 10,000 residents, is anchored by a 67,000-square-foot TOP Food & Drug store.

“The theme of our acquisition strategy is to seek out necessity-based, grocery-anchored retail assets,” said Tom Engberg, chief executive of Loja Real Estate. “This property came to our attention from a number of brokers, and it exceeded our criteria. Plus, we're particularly fond of the Northwest market.”

Loja currently is looking into other similar assets in the Seattle area, as well as in Denver, northern Nevada and Portland, Oregon. “We're beginning to look at smaller markets and looking to move away from the institutional herd a bit,” Engberg added.