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HOUSTON-A Los Angeles-based repositioning pro has acquired the 124,704-sf San Jacinto Plaza, putting up $3.3 million in cash for a 12%-leased shopping center in northeast Houston.

The new owner, BH Properties, will attempt to find a single user for an 80,000-sf box once leased to Kmart. If that doesn’t work, then the plan is to divvy the anchor space for multi-tenant use, Steve Bristol, senior investment adviser with Sperry Van Ness in Orem, UT, tells GlobeSt.com about a transaction that closed within 30 days.

Bristol says the 5607 Uvalde Rd. property, though never officially listed on the market, sold for $200,000 less than the asking price. He says there was competition at the negotiating table, but he believes his client’s offer for a quick close–with cash–was the decision-maker for the nine-year owner, Choice Group in Houston. He says BH Properties will spend at least $1 million to ready the asset for repositioning.

The center’s decline started in 2001 when the locally based Weiner’s shuttered a 16,500-sf store. Two years later, Kmart went dark. The center still has an 8,000-sf Family Dollar, 2,800-sf Payless Shoes and 4,727 sf filled by a local government office, hair salon and nail salon.

“The buyer was looking to invest in a retail property in a diversely populated area,” Bristol says in a press release about a property with a Harris County assessment of $2.4 million. In what he describes as an “ideally located property,” the 25-year-old shopping center is located directly across the street from San Jacinto College near the city’s ship channel. Bristol says BH Properties is actively looking to buy vacant big box properties and shopping centers in the US and Texas in particular.

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