SAN DIEGO—Vista Investment Group studied the San Diego market for a number of years, making sure that
if it made an investment in this region, the company would be as successful as it is in other markets, the firm’s president Jonathan Barach tells GlobeSt.com. The firm recently acquired the 80unit La Mesa Palms
multifamily community at 4300 Echo Court here for $18.97 million, marking the Los Angelesbased real
estate investment company’s entry into the San Diego market. The seller was a private family investor that had owned the property for more than 40 years.
The gardenstyle apartment complex consists of 20 fourplex buildings with spacious two and threebedroom units that average 1,100 square feet. The property was 92.5% occupied at the time of closing. Vista will implement a multimilliondollar capitalimprovement program that will begin with upgrading the buildings’exteriors and grounds, as well as the interior renovation of vacant units. Unit upgrades will include quartz countertops, vinylwoodplank flooring, and stainlesssteel appliances. Other units will be renovated as turnover permits, according to Barach.
HFF director Hunter Combs led the team that marketed the asset and represented both parties in the
transaction. In addition, HFF’s debt placement team secured acquisition financing on Vista’s behalf.
We spoke with Barach about the San Diego market and what the firm likes about it.
GlobeSt.com: What appeals to you about the San Diego market?
Barach: San Diego is generally considered one of the most desirable places to work in the United States, with
its 300plus days of sunshine, outdoor lifestyle and dynamic economy. It has a young, skilled, and highly
educated labor pool with a high concentration of tech jobs. In fact, the city ranks #1 in the nation for its number of hightech industries. Many people don’t realize this, but San Diego County is the second most populous in California and the fifth largest in the country. However, and most importantly, the barriers to entry in San Diego are very high. There is little new supply, which puts upward pressure on rents and keeps vacancy low. The current vacancy rate in the La Mesa submarket is less than 2%. All of these factors combine to create an attractive and fundamentally sound investment climate for Vista to execute its business plan.
GlobeSt.com: Why the sudden foray into this market?
Barach: The foray into San Diego has not been sudden. We have been studying and exploring the market for a
number of years now. As a company, I wanted to be sure that if we made an investment in San Diego, we would be as skilled and efficient at operating it as we are in the other markets where we own properties (Los Angeles and Bay Area). Moreover, there are few multifamily deals that trade for a market this size, forcing a valueadd buyer such as ourselves to be patient for the right opportunity.
GlobeSt.com: What types of properties are you eyeing in this market?
Barach: Vista targets valueadd multifamily, mixeduse and office properties in the $10millionto$50million
range located in urbaninfill areas with proximity to jobs and amenities. We employ the same investment
approach with our home market in Los Angeles and it has served us well.
GlobeSt.com: What other markets are you considering for investment?
Barach: Vista targets major infill markets throughout California, from the Bay Area and Silicon Valley, down to Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego counties.