By Joshua Burd
Urban Edge Properties is acquiring seven retail centers totaling 1.5 million square feet as part of a $325 million acquisition, including assets in four heavily traveled New Jersey submarkets.
The New York-based real estate investment trust, a Vornado Realty Trust spinoff, said this week that it has entered into a contract to acquire the portfolio from a private investor that has owned the properties for the past four decades. Published reports identified Acklinis Realty Holding in Millburn as the seller of the 83 percent leased portfolio, which spans three states.
The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2017. The total purchase value includes $127 million of Urban Edge operating partnership units, $33 million of existing debt to be assumed by the company, $117 million of nonrecourse secured debt and $48 million in cash.
The properties include:
- Yonkers Gateway Center, a 436,770-square-foot, 88 percent leased property in Yonkers, New York
- The Plaza at Woodbridge, a 413,013-square-foot, 81 percent leased property in Woodbridge
- The Plaza at Cherry Hill, a 412,969-square-foot, 74 percent leased property in Cherry Hill
- Manchester Plaza, a 130,934-square-foot, 89 percent leased property in Manchester, Missouri
- Millburn Gateway Center, a 102,725-square-foot, 97 percent leased property in Millburn
- 21 E Broad St. and One Lincoln Plaza, a 21,908-square-foot, 100 percent leased property in Westfield
“Since the beginning of the year and including this transaction, we have announced or closed on ten acquisitions for $455 million including Hudson Mall in Jersey City, NJ, The Shops at Bruckner Plaza in the Bronx and Yonkers Gateway Center,” Jeff Olson, chairman and CEO of Urban Edge, said in a prepared statement. “These properties align with our strategy of owning and improving large, well-located properties in the New York City metropolitan area and investing at a meaningful spread to our cost of capital.”
While nearly two-thirds of the portfolio is in New Jersey, Urban Edge touted the importance of having Yonkers Gateway Center as part of the transaction. The deal includes the remaining fee and leasehold interests in the 35-acre property that the REIT did not acquire in a transaction that closed in early January.
The Yonkers site “is the largest and most productive center on Central Avenue, a primary retail corridor in Westchester County,” Urban Edge said, with significant opportunities to create value from redeveloping, expanding and increasing occupancy.