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CHICAGO-A portfolio of eight Borders Books and Music properties in the Midwest has been sold for $46 million in a deal arranged by Chad M. Firsel, VP of investment sales at Millennium Properties Inc. of Chicago. According to Firsel, who represented the seller, a Chicago developer, the total debt relieved to the seller was about $46 million. The buyer, a private investor from the East Coast, was interested in the high-leverage and self-liquidating financing on the property.

“I’m closing more and more triple-net transactions,” explains Firsel. “The single-tenant triple-net lease market not only works well for 1031 tax-free exchange buyers, but long-term investors and professional real estate buyers are interested in net-leased properties as well.”

The deal, from inception, took three months to close. “The portfolio sold at a 7% cap rate, with a 20-year flat lease. Most Walgreen’s stores trade between 8.0%-8.75%, depending on location, lease time and other variables. This portfolio consists of two-story retail book stores with a limited re-adaptive use. Selling these for a 7% cap rate represents how strong the net-lease market is even in times of uncertainty,” says Firsel.

The transaction consisted of eight stores located at 802 W. Town Center Blvd., Champaign, IL; 2210 W. 94th St., Chicago, 199 Deane Dr., Rockford, IL; 1660 Randall Rd., Geneva, IL; 10135 Indianapolis Blvd., Highland, IN; 4000 E. 53rd St., Davenport, IA; 8472 Tamarack Village, Woodbury, MN; and 1390 University Ave., St. Paul, MN.

Borders, based in Ann Arbor, MI, currently has over 500 locations nationwide. Prototype store size ranges from 23,500 sf to 26,000 sf. In terms of site locations, Borders looks for demographics with above average education levels, middle to upper-middle class income levels and a fair amount of population density.

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