PHOENIX-Cole Real Estate Investments is one step closer to its2010 acquisitions target of $2.5 billion with its most recent deal– the $266-million buy of 32 Albertson’s grocery store propertiesspread across the Southwest. The deal brings the REIT’syear-to-date acquisitions total to more than $1.8 billion.

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“We’re close,” says Kim Kundrak, chief acquisitions officer ofthe local non-traded REIT. “And, we have several transactions inthe pipeline, either under contract or in LOI stage. We feel goodabout reaching our target or getting near to it.”

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Cole purchased the Albertson’s portfolio, which totals 1.9million square feet, from Boise, ID-based Albertson’s LLC, whichleased back the stores. The REIT paid all-cash for the properties,which are subject to recently signed 20-year, triple-net leasesthat also include renewal options.

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Kundrak says Cole plans to put low-leverage debt (about 50%) onthe portfolio. “We, more or less, had the debt lined up before weclosed on the deal,” he explains.

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The Albertson’s stores are located in key markets in Arizona,New Mexico, Colorado, Texas and Louisiana. “Right now, ourportfolio is concentrated in Texas and the southeast, and theAlbertson’s portfolio, with its Southwest concentration, adds toour geographic diversification,” Kundrak tells GlobeSt.com.Moreover, the portfolio represents Cole’s first portfolioacquisition of free-standing grocery locations.

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Cole was one of eight bidders for the Albertson’s portfolio,which was marketed by Chris Hoffmann of Eastdil Secured. Cole wasrepresented internally by Mark Manheimer, director ofacquisitions.

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Manheimer tells GlobeSt.com the stores are in the Albertson’sportfolio are “very strong cash flow stores.” Additionally, thechain is experiencing growth in market share and attracting newcustomers, he says.

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