ATLANTA-North American Properties has sold its two-year-old, 79,000-sf Cruse MarketPlace in suburban Forsyth County to Saul Centers Inc. of Bethesda, MD for $12.6 million, or $159.49 per sf. Area retail brokers tell the per-sf-price ranks among the highest this year in the metro area’s retail inventory.

Although Saul paid top dollar for the asset, the Maryland REIT considered the area’s demographics in making the acquisition. In a prepared statement from Saul principal Scott V. Schneider, the company estimates over 12,800 homes with annual household incomes averaging more than $83,000 are located within a three-mile radius of Cruse MarketPlace. A 44,000-sf Public Supermarket anchors the shopping center at GA 20 and Samples Road.

Saul Centers operates and manages a portfolio of 39 community and neighborhood shopping centers and office properties totaling seven million sf of leasable area. “Over 80% of the company’s cash flow is generated from properties in the metropolitan Washington, DC/Baltimore area,” Schneider says.

For North American, the sale generates additional revenue for a company that has several Georgia projects on its development plate. Last year the Ohio company opened the first 750,000-sf phase at 100% occupancy of Camp Creek Marketplace, an estimated $100-million, 1.1-million-sf venture on 145 acres at Interstate 285 and Camp Creek Parkway in southwest Fulton County.

North American’s most recently planned metro area venture is Lakeside MarketPlace, an open-air, 330,000-sf shopping center in Acworth, GA, about 30 miles northwest of Downtown Atlanta. The project is near two large Cousins Properties Inc. mixed-use projects, Bentwater and Seven Hills. Acworth officials anticipate about 10,000 homes new homes will surface in the Cousins project within the next 10 years.

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