The depressed market for office properties in Inland Southern California has created some interesting investment opportunities, and Riverside County has decided it did not want to be left out.
The county has purchased two buildings at the Citrus West Business Park, which used to be Fleetwood Enterprise’s corporate headquarters near the Van Buren Blvd. exit of Highway 91. The county will use the 78,000 square feet of space for its Department of Mental Health and for a data center.
CT Realty Investors, an Aliso Viejo-based developer, sold the properties for $6.6 million, according to a statement. CT Realty Investors bought the property from Fleetwood in 2008 and leased part of it back to the RV manufacturer, which went out of business in 2009.
The sale comes at a time when the office market in the region is floundering. About 25 percent of the office space in Riverside and San Bernardino counties is vacant, according to Marcus Millichap report.
That means there are opportunities for buyers. When office space was in demand, the price might have been almost twice as much.
Rob Field, executive director of the county’s Economic Development Agency, said leasing was not possible because the money came from a state grant.
“Regardless, this was a great deal,” Field said. “That’s part of the reason we pursued it.”
The sellers had improved the complex over the last few years. Field said that, except for some paint and carpeting, it’s move-in ready.
Marc Belluomini, CT Realty Investors’ executive vice president, said in an email that the sales price was less than half the replacement value. Anyone constructing two similar buildings from the ground up, on 10 acres, would probably pay between $14 million and $15 million, Belluomini said.