Penrose Plaza at 2900 Island Ave. in Philadelphia — Courtesy: United Hampshire US REIT
By Joshua Burd
A real estate investment trust with ties to The Hampshire Cos. has purchased retail centers in Pennsylvania and Virginia, marking its first deals after an initial public offering.
The new additions by United Hampshire US REIT include Penrose Plaza, a 258,494-square-foot property at 2900 Island Ave. in Philadelphia, and Colonial Square, a 168,326-square-foot complex at 3107 Boulevard in the Richmond suburb of Colonial Heights. Both are grocery-anchored properties, bringing the REIT’s portfolio to more than 3.6 million square feet across 24 assets.
Morristown-based Hampshire and UOB Global Capital are the sponsors of the Singapore-based investment vehicle. Brad Nathanson, a senior managing director for investments with Marcus & Millichap, represented the seller in the Penrose Plaza transaction, while JLL Senior Director Jordan Lex, Director Daniel Naughton and Managing Director Bill Moylan brokered the Colonial Heights deal.
“Strong annual GDP growth and an improving economy have continued to power a robust necessity-based retail real estate market across the eastern United States,” said Robert Schmitt, CEO of the UHREIT. “The acquisition of these two properties represents a significant opportunity to tap into this continued strength by adding two high-quality, resilient and stable income-producing grocery-anchored and necessity-based properties to our already robust portfolio of high-performing assets.”
Currently 94.1 percent leased, Penrose Plaza is anchored by ShopRite and is also home to tenants such as dd’s Discounts, Dollar Tree and Citi Trends, according to a news release. The Southwest Philadelphia property boasts a population of 581,000 within a five-mile radius, along with quick access to Interstates 95, 476 and 76.
Colonial Square, meantime, is just south of Richmond and easily accessible to the 87,400 residents within the immediate vicinity of the property and the growing Richmond metro area, UHREIT said. The shopping center enjoys a strong nearby business community with over 3,000 employers including Fort Lee and Virginia State University, with an occupancy rate of 99.1 percent and a tenant roster including Publix, Locke Supply Co., Wells Fargo and Dollar General.
The deals mark UHREIT’s first acquisitions in Pennsylvania and Virginia. Its portfolio now includes 20 grocery-anchored and necessity-based properties and four modern self-storage facilities along the I-95 corridor.
“With highly favorable demographics, strong population density and strong buying power in the eastern portion of the United States, the overall grocery-anchored real estate market has shown remarkable resilience throughout all stages of the pandemic,” said Derek Gardella, head of investments of the UHREIT. “As we look to 2022, we remain optimistic about the broader market’s long-term prospects and look forward to identifying further opportunities to acquire grocery-anchored and necessity-based retail properties in the eastern half of the country to continue to grow the UHREIT and tap into continued demand.”