FRANKLIN, MA- Cedar Shopping Centers Inc. based in Port Washington, NY, completed the $73 million acquisition of the Franklin Village Plaza here. Franklin Village is an approximately 255,000-sf shopping center plus an adjacent 36,000-sf office building. The purchase was funded by a $43.5 million, seven-year, 4.8%, interest-only first mortgage; and the balance was funded from Cedar’s revolving credit facility. Cedar officials say they are actively pursuing a joint venture financing arrangement.

Stop & Shop is the principal anchor tenant and has signed an agreement to expand from its current 55,000 sf to 75,000 sf. Other tenants include Marshalls, Radio Shack, Payless, Bath & Body Works and Applebee’s. Thomas R. Blakely, principal of TRB & Associates Inc. of Brookline represented the seller.

“This acquisition will permit us to utilize a considerable portion of the proceeds of our recent preferred stock issue on an accretive basis, and the proposed joint venture arrangements would in turn reduce our commitment to a single property while further enhancing the return on our investment,” says Tom O’Keeffe, the company‘s CFO.

Cedar CEO Leo Ullman adds that this purchase “puts the Company in an excellent position to create a cluster of quality properties in the lower New England states.”

This purchase marks another of the company’s recent acquisitions, which in this year have been focused in Pennsylvania. The company recently changed courses and purchased a 16-acre development site in Hanover Township for $10 million shopping center. Prior to that the company picked up two adjacent nearly 100,000-sf centers for $5.5 million in July. In May, the REIT took Lake Raystown Plaza and Huntingdon Plaza, with an aggregate 230,600 sf, while in March it acquired Dubois Commons and Townfair Center for an aggregate price of $35.2 million, or about $86.70 per sf.

And a year ago, the company made a similar purchase by spending $75 million for Columbus Crossing and River View Plaza I, II and III in South Philadelphia. Those transactions, including closing costs and debt repayment penalties, were funded with proceeds from Cedar’s Oct. 24, 2003 public offering of more than 13.5 million shares of stock at $11.50 per share.

Cedar is a self-managed REIT which owns and operates 29 primarily supermarket-anchored shopping centers with approximately 4.5 million sf of gross leasable area located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Connecticut.

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