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ADDISON, TX-In an off-market transaction, Granite Properties and the Retail Connection LP have staked their first joint-venture claim with the 78,283-sf Quorum Plaza II. Sources say the class A center, now in line for a dressing up, has brought in the neighborhood of $12 million for its eight-year local owner.

Granite, pushing for more retail space in North Texas, also has some development deals working with its new Dallas partner. The JV’s acquisition of the 4900 Belt Line Rd. center isn’t intended to be a one-off, Gregory P. Fuller, managing director for Dallas-based Granite Properties, tells GlobeSt.com. “We are trying to ramp up our retail program to be equal to our office and industrial,” he says.

Fuller says Granite plans to rely on the retail expertise of “two or three” local partners to boost the portfolio. “We’re just going to be behind the scenes on the retail side,” he says, citing a similar partnership exists with Margaux Development Co.

Granite typically spends $150 million annually to add to the mixed-product portfolio. “We could spend $200 million if we found good deals,” Fuller says. The investment firm now owns about one million sf of retail space. Anticipated holds are three to five years.

Fuller says Quorum Plaza II, being readied for an estimated $1-million renovation, was bought with 1031 exchange funds from an office building sale in Atlanta. The buyers also secured a short-term, floating-rate acquisition and renovation loan from Wachovia Bank in Charlotte, NC.

Michael B. Ablon, president of Connected Acquisition Services, says the 90%-leased center will be made over to complement its neighbor, Addison Walk, a retooled 82,816-sf center at 5000 Belt Line Rd. bought in December 2004 by the San Francisco-based Rreef. Quorum Plaza II’s makeover will be done by year’s end.

“It needs some leasing and it needs some TLC on the outside to reposition it,” Fuller says. “It’s a good property for what we want to do.”

Quorum Plaza II’s roster contains 23 tenants, a mix of conventional and eclectic retailers. Ablon says six leases were up for renewal; five have been put to bed. The unanchored center’s quoted rate is $23 per sf to $27 per sf.

Ablon says he knocked on Dunhill Partners Inc.’s door with an unsolicited offer for the four-building asset, situated on nearly 5.7 acres in an office-and-retail corridor. All he’ll say about the price is that it beats the $10.3-million assessment from Dallas County.

The Retail Connection also owns the nearby 381,000-sf Village on the Parkway. “We absolutely believe in the North Dallas corridor as a trade area,” says the leader of the Retail Connection affiliate.

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