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NEW YORK CITY-New Plan Excel Realty Trust Inc. and JPMorgan Fleming Asset Management, armed with a $150-million equity commitment, formed NP/I&G Institutional Retail Co. LLC to acquire high-quality institutional grade community and neighborhood shopping centers on a nationwide basis. The joint venture is based on an 80/20 percent contribution split between a fund advised by JPMorgan Fleming and New Plan, which as the managing member, will be responsible for initiating acquisitions, as well as providing management and leasing services.

The team has already made its first purchase. On Nov. 25, the JV acquired Lake Grove Plaza, a 251,236-sf grocery-anchored community shopping center, for approximately $44 million. The Lake Grove, NY shopping center is 100% leased with tenants such as Stop & Shop, Bally Total Fitness, DSW, Michaels, PETCO and Staples.

In November, New Plan issued $50 million of unsecured, 10-year fixed rate notes with a coupon of 5.5%. The notes due Nov. 20, 2013, and have no puts, are non-callable and non-amortizing. Net proceeds from the offering will be used to repay $49 million of 7.33%, four-year unsecured notes due on Nov. 20, 2003. The company operates as a self-administered and self-managed REIT with a national portfolio of 404 properties, including 19 properties held through joint ventures, and total assets of approximately $3.5 billion. Its properties are located across 35 states and include 375 community and neighborhood shopping centers, primarily grocery or name-brand discount chain anchored, with approximately 53.5 million sf of gross leasable area, and 29 related retail real estate assets with approximately 2.3 million sf of gross leasable area.

As a part of JP Morgan Chase & Co., JPMorgan Fleming Asset Management provides investment solutions to corporations, governments, institutions, endowments, foundations and individuals with close to $527 billion in global assets under management.

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