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Alpine Village near Torrance sells for $43M

UPDATED MARCH 14 at 4:30 p.m.:

Bavarian-themed boutique retail center Alpine Village might transform from shopping center to shipping facility.

An LLC with links to WPT Capital Advisors bought the shuttered property near Torrance for $43 million earlier this month, according to property records. A deed document says that the transaction was funded by a $40 million loan from CIBC Bank. 

The seller was Alpine Village Inc., a company led by the family which has run the German-themed center for decades.

The center’s swap meet and Alpine Market grocery closed in February. Some of the site’s boutiques are reportedly still looking to unload their inventory. The retailer Alpine Toys posted an undated message on its website that it was given a month to vacate the site after the sale.

WPT’s focus is developing sites for distribution and logistics markets. One of its other Southern California properties is a more than 5-acre business park in Montclair, which features a storage facility. WPT did not reply to email requests and a call for comment. 

The idea to turn Alpine Village into a site with an industrial focus has been in the works for a while. A January 2020 report filed with Los Angeles County’s Department of Regional Planning noted an investor which developed warehouse and distribution facilities expressed interest in redeveloping Alpine Village’s 14-acre site, which is located in unincorporated Los Angeles County. 

The five buildings which comprised the retail complex were located on the southern portion of Alpine Village. The northern two-thirds of the site was covered by parking lots. Alpine Village also had been zoned for manufacturing, according to property records.

Correction: Previous story said all the retailers at Alpine Village were closed, but several remain open.

Since 2019, nonprofit preservation group Los Angeles Conservancy has petitioned the county’s Department of Regional Planning to designate Alpine Village a historical landmark because of its unique, Bavarian-themed shopping court which was built in 1968. In September 2020, it was officially designated as an L.A. County historic site.

However, a historic site designation does not ultimately protect a site from demolition, according to a guidance from the Los Angeles Conservancy. “It merely buys time in order to create opportunities for preservation solutions to emerge,” according to the organization’s website.

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