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HAGERSTOWN, MD-Ownership of the 327,000-sf Centre at Hagerstown shopping mall has changed hands with Washington Real Estate Investment Trust’s recent $41.7-million cash acquisition of the property. The seller is a joint venture involving Diversified Realty, Diversified subsidiary Coventry Real Estate Partners and Prudential Real Estate Investors. Diversified developed the mall through its Retail Value Investment Program in 2000.

Located on Garland Groh Boulevard at Interstate 81 and US Route 40 in Washington County, Centre at Hagerstown occupies 38 acres and offers more than 30 stores, 98% of which are fully leased. Among the mall’s anchors are Borders Books Music & Cafe, Marshalls, A.C. Moore, Office Max, Bed Bath & Beyond, PetSmart, Circuit City and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Two other anchors, Wal-Mart and Home Depot, are not part of the transaction because the retailers own the properties they occupy. Wal-Mart’s space is nearly 220,000 sf in size and Hope Depot occupies a 115,000-sf area. Space in the mall leases for about $12.00 per-sf.

Extras that are included in the multi-million-dollar deal are 5,000 sf of in-line space and two vacant pad sites that are available for lease. “The Centre has a high percentage of national credit tenants and minimum rollover exposure over the next several years,” WRIT chairman/president/CEO Edmund B. Cronin, Jr. explains in a statement. “Less than 8% of tenants expire prior to 2010, and the synergies created with Wal-Mart and Home Depot will continue to attract and retain a strong retail tenant base.”

WRIT relied on funds attained through a tax-deferred exchange from the February disposition of its 62-year-old, 145,000-sf industrial property at 1501 Capitol Street in Washington, DC, which sold for $6.2 million and resulted in a $3.8 million gain. “We have a diversified portfolio and we want to increase industrial, retail and apartment holdings,” WRIT managing director of acquisitions Tom Regnell tells GlobeSt.com of WRIT’s interest in the shopping center. “We plan to hold on to it for the foreseeable future.”

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