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CANTON, GA-Gradually making its mark as a serious retail investment player in metro Atlanta, Holland-based DIM Vastgoed has acquired its sixth grocery-anchored shopping center with the $12.9-million purchase of the 74,340-sf, 86%-leased Freehome Village here, about 40 miles northwest of Downtown Atlanta. The six properties are valued at $70 million.

Dim Vastgoed, a Dutch publicly traded real estate fund, paid Freehome Village LLC $173.52 per sf for the one-year-old shopping center at 12418-12426 Cumming Highway. Local brokers tell the per-sf-price is the highest paid for a comparable property in the Canton area this year. Dim Vastgoed doesn’t think it overpaid for the asset which is anchored by 44,840-sf Publix supermarket.

“The Atlanta metropolitan area has one of the strongest commercial real estate markets in the Southeast,” says A.J. Belt, chief operating officer of DBR Asset Management LLC, the Fort Lauderdale, FL-based advisor which represents the Dutch firm on all of its US acquisitions. “Freehome Village is the perfect property to complement our existing portfolio and we look forward to acquiring more Atlanta properties over the next year.”

As it has on all of its prior acquisitions, DBR found the property for DIM Vastgoed, negotiated the purchase price and completed the due diligence process. “The property was not formally on the market,” Belt tells “We struck a deal with the developer before going on the market.” The deal took “just less than two months” to complete, from contract signing to closing, Belt says.

DBR will manage the 19-tenant center. The average asking gross rent range for non-anchors is $18 to $20 per sf. Cummings, Horsely & Maddox Inc and the Shopping Center Group represented the sellers in the transaction.

In July of last year, DIM Vastgoed bought the Vineyards Shopping Center at Chateau Elan, a 79,046-sf, 92%-leased property in suburban Braselton, about 30 miles northeast of Downtown Atlanta. The Dutch firm paid the Vineyards Shopping Village LLC $13.25 million, or $167 per sf, for the 21-tenant property, as previously reported.

DBR Asset Management also represented DIM in the $9.5 million June 2004 acquisition of the 68,738-sf Golden Park Village in Hall County’s Buford, 20 miles north of Downtown Atlanta. DIM paid Golden Park LLC $138 per sf for the asset, as also previously reported.

Other Georgia retail properties in the DIM portfolio are the 83,155-sf Grayson Village in Loganville, acquired in December 2004; the 94,886-sf Keith Bridge Commons in Cumming, purchased in February 2003; and the 62,270-sf Salem Road Station in Covington, bought in October 2002. A Publix supermarket anchors each of the six shopping centers.

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