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ATLANTA-In one of their strongest production periods of the year, the locally based office of CB Richard Ellis Inc. has closed two retail investment sales and one office deal for a total $59 million. One of the retail transactions provided the highest price ever paid for a metro area shopping center–$331 per sf.

In that record price transaction, Loganville Acquisition LLC paid Loganville Plaza LLC and two private investors, Pellerin and Salomon, $2.25 million for the one-year-old, 6,800-sf, 100%-leased Loganville Plaza in suburban Loganville, 15 miles east of Downtown Atlanta.

“To date, the $331-per-sf sales price is the highest price achieved for a retail property in Atlanta,” Craig Taylor, first vice president, CBRE, tells GlobeSt.com.” One factor helping to achieve the record price was that “all the major players on a national and regional retail front are located near the surrounding Loganville area.”

The center has only four tenants–T-Mobile, SuperCuts, GameStop and Moe’s. But it fronts a new Wal-Mart Supercenter and a Home Depot on one side and a Publix Supermarket on the other, “showing the strength of this retail corridor,” Taylor tells GlobeSt.com. “This is how we achieved the record per-sf-price.”

The average asking gross rent is $26 per sf plus full past-throughs. The cap rate, based on the asking price, is 7.5%. Taylor and Josh Randolph, an associate in CBRE’s Retail Investment Group, negotiated for the seller. The buyer represented itself.

The deal was done at this time because “many sellers are unsure when the market will turn and when interest rates will rise, making it more difficult for buyers to achieve their necessary yields,” Taylor tells GlobeSt.com. “So this seller chose not to take that risk, given the attractiveness of the current market conditions.”

In the other retail transaction, Houston-based Weingarten Realty Investors paid Connolly Realty of Thompson Bridge Commons LLC $12.75 million, or $162.73 per sf, for Thompson Bridge Commons, a four-year-old, 78,351-sf, 94%-leased Kroger-anchored shopping center in Gainesville, 30 miles northwest of Downtown Atlanta.

The $162.73 per-sf-price was one of the highest recorded in Gainesville this year for a retail property, Taylor tells GlobeSt.com. He negotiated for the seller. Weingarten represented itself. “This was the second Kroger-anchored transaction that Weingarten purchased from Connolly in the past six months,” Taylor says.

To close the deal, Weingarten assumed an existing loan with Principal Financial. Van Wehr at LJ Melody & Co., the real estate financing arm of CBRE, originated the loan. The average asking gross rent is $20 per sf, plus pass-throughs.

The acquisition gives Weingarten a total one million sf of retail space in Atlanta, says Daniel Holland, Weingarten’s acquisition director. He says Thompson Bridge Commons “has excellent existing and projected demographics” and calls the purchase “an outstanding investment opportunity for Weingarten.”

Both the Loganville Plaza and Thompson Bridge Commons were on the market for less than 30 days. Each deal took 60 days to complete, from contract signing to closing, CBRE’s Taylor tells GlobeSt.com.

In a separate transaction, CBRE’s Private Client Group in Atlanta closed a 396,000-sf suburban class A office portfolio for Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. LaSalle Investment Management Inc. of Chicago paid $44 million, or about $111.11 per sf, for the four properties. They are 5707 Peachtree Parkway and 3585 Engineering Dr. in Technology Park; and 6455 and 6465 East Johns Crossing in the Johns Creek office development.

CBRE’s Private Client Group here is led by Tony Swann, first vice president; Gary Lee, vice president; and associate Andrew Murphy.

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