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VICTORIA, TX-Augusta, GA-based Hull Storey Retail Group, marking its entrance to Texas, has acquired the 676,000-sf Victoria Mall, getting ground leases to Dillard’s and JCPenney and deeds to 446,000 sf of retail space. The 22-year-old mall is situated in this city midway between Houston and Corpus Christi.

Hull Storey financed the 90-acre acquisition at 7800 N. Navarro St. here with a $19-million loan from CDC Mortgage Capital Inc. of New York City. The seller, Victoria Retail Properties LP, is a group of New York City investors led by Atlanta-headquartered TriMont Real Estate Advisors. James Thomas in CB Richard Ellis Inc.’s Dallas office assisted TriMont with the sale of the 88%-leased asset.

Michael Magner of CDC Mortgage Capital tells GlobeSt.com that the mall, a strong asset in a heavy retail corridor, leveraged a 10-year loan with a fixed interest rate. Magner, though, won’t talk about the interest rate, loan-to-value rate or amortization. He did say that the $19-million vehicle does not include any take-out for capital improvements.

John Gibson, Hull Storey’s president and CEO, says some capital improvements may come later, but the going-in plan is to spend some time getting to know the local market.

“We are excited about the purchase of Victoria Mall because it perfectly fits within our acquisition model and our small market enclosed regional mall niche,” Jim Hull, managing member, says in a press release. “Southeast Texas is an incredible, fast-growing market that we want to be a part of for many years.”

To the new owner’s credit, it is a recognized long-term holder of retail real estate, claiming to have never sold a mall property in the firm’s 10-year history. Prior to the purchase, Hull Storey owned eight million sf in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Alabama. In the last four years, it doubled its enclosed mall holdings, zeroing in on small to medium-size cities. Hull Storey says it’s looking for additional Texas assets to acquire.

Victoria Mall’s trade area encompasses Calhoun, DeWitt, Goliad, Gonzales, Jackson, Lavaca counties and portions of Aransas, Matagorda, Refugio and Wharton. Two anchors, Dillard’s and JCPenney, own their stores, 122,000 sf and 108,000 sf respectively. Other tenants include Sears, Beall’s and Old Navy.

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