3 shopping centers change hands in area

Investors are attracted to properties in Rosedale, Owings Mills, Stevensville

January 24, 2003|By Meredith Cohn | Meredith Cohn,SUN STAFF

Three area shopping centers were recently purchased by investors looking for a safe harbor for their money, the deals' brokers said yesterday.

Together, the centers contain 260,000 square feet and have a sales volume of $27.4 million, according to brokers at NAI KLNB Inc. Brokers say more and more investors are looking to put their cash into leased and mostly leased real estate, such as shopping centers and office buildings, in popular locations.

Grocery store-anchored centers are especially hot right now because the down economy has drained some other types of real estate of their paying tenants, said Kevin Barrett, a principal at KLNB who specializes in retail investment sales.

"A lot of sellers are realizing that it doesn't get much better than this," he said. "Interest rates are likely to go higher rather than lower. And if the stock market recovers and there are alternatives to real estate, real estate values may go down."

The buyers are capitalizing on the low interest rates to add property to their portfolios that give them higher yields than many other investments, he said.

The recently sold properties are:

Lakeside Village, a 59,985-square-foot center in Owings Mills that is anchored by Food Lion. Continental Realty Corp. sold the center for $9.6 million to GE Capital. Built in 2001, it is completely leased.

Golden Ring Plaza Shopping Center, a 158,926-square- foot center in Rosedale anchored by Giant Food and Kids `R' Us. Edens & Avant bought the 17-year-old center for $15.9 million from Pence-Friedel. It is 94 percent leased.

Kent Island Shopping Center, a 40,000-square-foot center in Stevensville. BBC Properties paid $1.9 million to the Applefeld family for the center, anchored by Tru-Value Hardware. KLNB is negotiating a lease with Happy Harry, a drugstore chain, for space. The owner also plans renovations to the center.

"This recent activity is indicative of the extremely robust sales environment that was prevalent throughout 2002 and is continuing this year," Barrett said.

Buyers and sellers could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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