ATLANTA—When you think of Preferred Apartment Communities (PAC) you probably think of multifamily. But with retail following rooftops the company is pushing on the grocery-anchored shopping center front.

PAC’s Preferred Apartment Communities Operating Partnership has acquired nine grocery-anchored retail centers across five states for $125.2 million. The shopping centers are in Miami, Orlando, Tampa, FL, Atlanta, Columbus, GA, Charleston, SC, Nashville, and Houston, areas. 

“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to add these assets to our class A multifamily portfolio as part of our overall strategy to have a limited portion of the company’s assets allocated to non-multifamily assets,” says John A. Williams, PAC’s chairman and CEO. “We believe this strategy will position the company to significantly enhance stockholder value.”

PAC snapped up two retail portfolios to add the nine grocery-anchored shopping centers to its holdings. One portfolio includes seven assets spanning 513,723 square feet. Of these seven assets, Publix is the anchor tenant at five centers (Atlanta, Columbus, Miami, Orlando, and Tampa). Kroger and Bi-Lo are the anchor tenants at the shopping centers located in Houston and Charleston, respectively. The second retail portfolio has two Publix-anchored shopping centers in Nashville, representing 127,157 square feet.

“We were able to generate these opportunities by working over the last several months with Joel Murphy, an experienced retail industry veteran with a long, established track record of success in the retail sector,” says Williams. “In contemplation of entering the necessity retail shopping center space, we formed New Market Properties, LLC, a subsidiary wholly owned by PAC-OP.”

PAC’s strategy is to aggregate a critical mass of necessity shopping center assets under the New Market banner and then spin off New Market into an independent, publicly traded REIT as soon as the company believes it has reached scale. Murphy joined New Market’s management team as president and CEO and would remain head of the company after a spinoff.