Wegmans

FREDERICKSBURG, VA-Calkain Cos. is marketing a stand-alone Wegmans here on an unsubordinated ground lease. The asking price, at a four-and-a-quarter cap rate, for $25 million, is fairly aggressive but warranted given the fundamentals of the deal, principal Jonathan Hipp tells GlobeSt.com. Among other attributes, the property includes an outparcel on which a restaurant can open.

That’s not what’s interesting about the deal though—or rather, the aggressive asking price is not the key feature that is interesting about the deal. Rather, it is the fact that a stand-alone net lease Wegmans has come to market at all. “I have never seen one for sale,” Hipp says. That is not to say that none have ever come to market, but they are quite rare. The reason, more than likely Hipp guesses, is that the owners want to hang on to their assets and not trade them. “Wegmans is a very popular credit,” Hipp says.

So is McDonalds, which introduces an interesting bit of speculation. Not that long ago few McDonalds came to market for the same reason – the owners didn’t want to trade them. “But then cap rates for McDonalds dropped below 5,” Hipp says. “It just took one well-executed deal for other owners to put their properties on the market.” Indeed, Hipp says in the last year-and-a-half he has seen more McDonalds come to market than he has seen throughout his entire career.

Might the same thing happen with the free-standing Wegmans? Quite possibly, Hipp says. “It just takes one great deal for other sellers to want to replicate.”