Burbank Plaza in Illinois

CINCINNATI—Phillips Edison-ARC Shopping Center REIT Inc. has just acquired another four grocery-anchored shopping centers, and now owns more than 100 similar centers across the US. In addition, with these acquisitions plus the properties the company has under contracts, it has committed all of the net equity proceeds raised in its initial public offering. Phillips Edison & Company and AR Capital, LLC sponsor the Cincinnati-based company.

“We always believed that grocery-anchored centers are very strong investments,” Jeff Edison, chairman and chief executive officer, tells GlobeSt.com. “It goes back to the founding principle of our company. It’s a bit corny-sounding, but people always need to eat.”

Therefore, the company acquires centers with the #1 or #2 grocers in their particular market, a strategy that resulted in a portfolio that is “countercyclical,” Edison adds. In fact, sales within these centers increased during the recession.

The company now has a portfolio of 102 properties in 24 states leased to 31 grocery store anchors. The four recent acquisitions include: Burbank Plaza, anchored by Jewel-Osco, in Burbank, a Chicago suburb; Hamilton Village, anchored by Walmart Supercenter, in Chattanooga; Statler Square, anchored by Kroger, in Staunton, VA; and Waynesboro Plaza, anchored by Martin’s, in Waynesboro, VA. The aggregate purchase price totaled approximately $73 million and added about 736,000-square-feet to the portfolio.

Edison says that they are now raising equity for another non-traded REIT, called Phillips Edison-ARC Grocery Center REIT II. In March 2014, it bought Bethany Village, an 81,674-square-foot shopping center anchored by a Publix in Alpharetta, GA. And just recently it made its second acquisition—Staunton Plaza, an 80,265-square-foot shopping center, also in Staunton, and anchored by a Martin’s.

“Our focus going forward is to continue to do the same thing,” Edison says.