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NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX-The Fountain of Life Church in North Richland Hills has bought the 94%-leased Northwood Plaza in simultaneous transactions for a 43,000-sf grocery anchor spot and 97,977 sf of inline space.

The church, now at 6800 Denton Highway, is drafting plans for a full makeover of 5196 Rufe Snow Dr., a one-time home to Sack ‘N Save that was subsequently subleased to Levitz Furniture Co. The grocery space will be converted into a church and the inline space taken down as needed and as leases roll, Mike Friedman of Grubb & Ellis Co.’s Dallas office tells GlobeSt.com. He and Grubb & Ellis’ Will Evans brokered the acquisition from NSX Investments Inc., which bought the store in 2001 from Dallas-based Minyard Food Stores Inc.

In a separate transaction, the church acquired the balance of Northwood Plaza from ASG Real Estate Co. in Dallas. The seller’s broker is Robert Grunnah, president of the investment sales division for Henry S. Miller Commercial in Dallas.

0Friedman says the deal took 1.5 years to bring to a close, with the church needing to sell its Denton Highway building before it could buy. Friedman also brokered the sale from Minyard to NSX Investments, which had Levitz Furniture as a tenant until a year ago.

The deal’s moving parts came together with the church poised to buy, the grocery store empty and the recently re-tenanted Northwood Plaza quietly being shopped by its Dallas owner. No one’s talking price, but retail space in the immediate area, bolstered by positioning near North East Mall, is easily fetching $100 per sf these days.

ASG Real Estate’s vice president Ahmad Sbaiti tells GlobeSt.com that Grunnah has bought and sold 22 centers for the firm in the last five years–always with unsolicited offers. Northwood Plaza was headed to market at year’s end along with the 175,000-sf Hulen Point in Fort Worth and 106,000-sf Park West in Plano, Grunnah says, noting the last three years have focused on re-tenanting the trio.

Sbaiti says Northwood Plaza was a 10-year hold. “It was time to dispose of it,” he says, confiding ASG retired debt with part of the proceeds and held onto 4.7 acres abutting the regional center that had been banked for a future expansion. With the portfolio disposition nearing a close, Sbaiti says ASG Real Estate is looking to replenish its stock…”with any product that makes sense.”

Built in 1985 by Cambridge Properties, Northwood Plaza sits on the northeast corner of Rufe Snow Drive and Loop 820. Its line-up now includes 75% Off Book Store, Carpet Mills, American Airlines, SAS Shoes and Sally Beauty.

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