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YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY-Urstadt Biddle Properties Inc. of Greenwich, CT has acquired the Staples Plaza shopping center on Route 202 here from Celestial Capital Group Inc. of New York City. The selling price was $28.4 million.

Urstadt Biddle officials say the purchase price excluded closing costs and that it was acquired subject to an existing first mortgage loan of $8.25 million with interest at 7.42% due in 2007. Willing Biddle, president of Urstadt Biddle, says the company used part of the proceeds of the recent sale of $63 million in preferred D series stock and the $10-million sale of an office building in Michigan to acquire the center.

The plaza is 97% leased. Its major tenants include Staples, which leases approximately 25,000 sf and Bed, Bath & Beyond, which has a 24,000-sf store. Party City, which leases 10,000 sf, AC Moore, which has an 11,000-sf location and Dunkin Donuts/Taco Bell, which has about 5,000 sf of space are also on the roster. The complex is adjacent to a 107,000-sf BJ’s Wholesale Club, which is owned by another party. However, the two properties share parking facilities, according to Urstadt Biddle officials.

In addition, Best Plumbing, Tile & Stone leases more than 90,000 sf of warehouse basement space and about an 11,000–sf showroom at the complex. The company announced plans in April to relocate its warehouse to the former YMCA of Central and Northern Westchester building in Somers in the next 18 months. The future availability of the Best Plumbing space was one of the factors that attracted Urstadt Biddle to the property, company officials say. Best owned the center until four years ago when it sold the property, which sits on 16.4 acres, to Celestial.

“The purchase of Staples Plaza continues our strategic goal to be the dominant retail real estate owner in Westchester County, NY and Fairfield County, CT and adds to the $50 million of retail property purchased earlier this year,” Biddle says. Earlier this year the company purchased the 280,000-sf Dock Shopping Center in Stratford, CT., for approximately $50 million.

Biddle adds that the company currently has several other possible acquisition deals in the Westchester, Putnam, Fairfield County region. The company owns 34 properties located predominately in Westchester and Fairfield counties, containing approximately 3.7 million sf of space.

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