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FARMINGTON HILLS, MI-Ramco-Gershenson Properties Trust will buy seven Florida shopping centers, totaling approximately 1.2 million sf, for $138.3 million. RGPT says it expects to close on three of the properties before the end of the year, with the other four to be acquired in the first quarter of 2005.

The shopping centers include Treasure Coast Commons (92,979 sf) and Vista Plaza (109,728 sf) in Jensen Beach; Martin Square (333,356 sf) in Stuart; Marketplace of Delray (247,023 sf) and Village of Oriole Plaza (155,752 sf) in Delray Beach; West Broward Shopping Center (155,809 sf) in Plantation; and Village Plaza (135,000 sf) in Lakeland. Major tenants in the various centers include Bed, Bath & Beyond; Barnes & Noble; Circuit City; Michaels; Publix; Staples; the Sports Authority and Winn Dixie.

In addition to assuming $54.5 million in debt, the REIT says it plans to fund the remainder of the transaction through a variety of sources, which may include an off-balance sheet joint venture.

“The majority of the seven shopping centers are located in demographically strong trade areas with significant barriers to entry,” says president and chief executive officer Dennis Gershenson. “The centers will complement our existing Florida portfolio and will allow us to capitalize on operating efficiencies and leasing synergies.”

The locally based REIT already has a portfolio of 70 shopping centers totaling approximately 15 million sf of gross leasable area.

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