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BOSTON-The six grocery-anchored centers in the area that North Miami Beach, FL-based Equity One has closed on for $119.8 million are top performers, according to one industry observer here. “They’re all class A, well located shopping centers,” says Ed Highers, VP of retail services at Boston’s Grubb & Ellis office. “They’re top-of-the-line credit, with top-of-the-line tenants.”

The six centers, in the suburban towns of Cambridge, Medford, Plymouth, Quincy, Swampscott and West Roxbury, total 390,979 sf. Five are anchored by Shaw’s and one by Whole Foods; Equity One officials say the centers are fully leased. The properties were formerly owned by locally based Charlesbank Capital Properties. Equity One officials first announced the acquisition in August.

The deal gives the company “an important first step towards our goal of acquiring similar, high-quality properties and portfolios anchored by leading supermarkets or other necessity oriented retailers in the best urban markets on the East Coast,” says Chaim Katzman, chairman and CEO of Equity One. The company is opening up an office in the area to pursue more deals.

Highers predicts that Equity One will form alliances with local developers building centers in the area and then purchase the developments once they are completed. One Boston area experiencing heavy growth is the western suburbs, he says.

The acquisition marks Equity One’s first centers outside of Southern states. Most of the REIT’s 185 centers are in Florida. The company made its major push out of that state when it acquired IRT Property Co.’s 92-center portfolio last year.

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