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HAWTHORNE, NY-GDC Properties Inc. plans to increase its ownership of shopping centers from six properties to 20 over the next 18 months acquiring approximately $500 million worth of property in the New York Metro area, Atlanta and Central and Southern Florida. To do so, GDC intends to divest itself of more than $300 million in apartment assets in Central and Southern Florida. The company will maintain approximately half of its residential assets.

William Ingraham, vice president, tells GlobeSt.com that while the company remains fully committed to its roots, the time is right for change. The company believes the properties it is looking to market are “worth more as condos than as income.” He notes that there are no plans for GDC to develop its own shopping centers at this time and says the acquisitions will be focused in markets the company is already familiar with.

“While we still intend to remain active in residential real estate, we are taking advantage of today’s cap rate arbitrage and allocating capital out of apartments and into commercial property,” adds Samuel Ginsburg, chairman.

GDC’s projects include the Mirasol apartment community in Celebration, FL, a 193-unit Alaqua condominium currently under construction in Aventura, FL, and two 38-story high-rise properties, which are slated to break ground in Orlando later this year. GDC Properties is the investment arm of the Ginsburg Development Corp. Earlier this week, GDC purchased the one-year-old, 44,000-sf Shops at Cascade in Atlanta for $14.1 million.

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