Several phases in the recent history of ProBuild's Dixieline Lumber and Home Centers were in evidence recently when a trio of Dixieline buildings in California's San Diego County were sold for a total of $12.3 million.

The San Diego Source, a business newspaper, reported earlier this week that Cowling Investment Group sold the land housing the Dixieline store in La Mesa to LN Real Estate LLC for $6.1 million, the property for Dixieline's Escondido store to LN Real Estate on behalf of Seattle's K&L Gates for $3.6 million, and a Dixieline property in El Cajon to ProBuild for $2.6 million.

ProBuild is leasing the La Mesa property through 2021 with at least six extension options, the story noted.

Cowling Investment Group is a vehicle created by the Cowling family, which founded Dixieline early in the last century and that owned Dixieline until 2003, when it sold the company to Lanoga Corp., which later was one of the two key LBM operations that were joined to create ProBuild. LN Real Estate is a unit of Laird Norton, which created Lanoga when it acquired Alaska's Spenard Builders Supply early last decade.

According to people with knowledge of the earlier transactions, Cowling retained ownership of the land when it sold the Dixieline stores, with Cowling retaining the option of putting the land up for sale and Lanoga (and, later, ProBuild) getting an option to buy any property that went up for sale. In a sense, the latest moves in effect reshuffle ownership of properties that Cowling, Laird Norton and ProBuild have been controlling for a decade.