CLAYTON, MO-The Desco Group, based here, has agreed to sell most of its stake in a 33-property portfolio of shopping centers, most anchored by its flagship Schnucks stores, to a partnership of Regency Centers Corp. and Austrialia-based Macquarie CountryWide Trust for $400 million. In the proposed new ownership plan, Macquarie would own 60% of the 2.8-million-sf portfolio, Regency would own 13% and Desco would hold onto 27%, while also continuing to manage and lease the properties.

The centers are mostly located in the St. Louis area, and include the 116,692-sf Zumbehl Commons in St. Charles, MO; the 108,200-sf Wildwood Crossing in Wildwood, MO; the 209,703-sf Kirkwood Commons in Kirkwood, MO (anchored by Wal-Mart) and the 115,208-sf Bellerive Plaza in Creve Couer, MO. There are also a few properties included in Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee. The portfolio has averaged 97% leased during the past five years, says a spokeswoman with Regency.

The spokeswoman says this deal is just a continuation of a large, historical partnership with Macquarie. Regency is basically the Australian trust’s agent, she says. “We have an established 150 shopping centers together, with a 75% Macquarie and 25% Regency split. We like the Schnucks portfolio because the company is the strongest grocer in St. Louis, with a market share of 37%, and they have good demographics,” she tells

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