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MAPLEWOOD, MN-Birch Run Station Shopping Center and an attached former Kids R Us store that is vacant were sold for $27.3 million to a Los Angeles-based private investment group called RPD Catalyst LLC.

“RPD has experience in this market–they are the former owner of Creekridge I and Creekridge II, where we have our headquarters offices,” says Bob Pounds, senior vice president at Bloomington-based Welsh Cos.

Before the Birch Run deal, the national real estate investor did not own any other commercial real estate in the Twin Cities, Pounds says. “They are looking to expand here,” he adds.

The 256,823-sf strip center was sold by Birch Run LLC, a real estate entity owned by a local investor who chose to remain anonymous, Pounds says. The shopping center, which sold for more than list price, is 97% leased. Among the key big box retailers at the center are Marshalls, OfficeMax, JoAnn Etc., Burlington Coat Factory and ApplianceSmart.

The shopping mall, which had been on the market for four months, is next to Maplewood Mall, which is owned and managed by Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group. Pounds and Tim Prinsen, vice president of Welsh Cos. Investment Services Group, brokered the sale.

The 21,000-sf former Kids R Us store was sold for slightly more than $1 million by Toys R Us Inc., the retailer based in Paramus, NJ, according to Pounds.

Although RPD will manage the space, it has hired Welsh as its leasing agents. Kris Schisel, a retail leasing associate with Welsh, has been assigned to work on leasing at the shopping center.

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