ATLANTA-Striving to improve its negative operating cash flow, locally based Roberts Realty Investors Inc. has purchased two area shopping centers totaling 82,272 sf for $15.7 million. Roberts paid $10.9 million, or $174.89 per sf, for the 62,323-sf, 88%-leased Grand Pavilion in suburban Alpharetta. It also paid $4.8 million, $240.61 per sf, for a 19,949-sf, 100%-leased center in Buford, GA.

Despite paying premium prices for the two assets, Charles S. Roberts, the company’s found and CEO, says “these two properties fit our strategy of investing in assets located in high-growth markets and will immediately improve our operating cash flow.” Roberts didn’t disclose the sellers’ identities in his prepared statement.

In the Alpharetta transaction, the new owner is assuming a $7-million loan as part of the acquisition. Roberts is financing the balance with proceeds from the May 2005 sale of its Ballantyne Place residential community in Charlotte, NC. The shopping center is at the intersection of State Bridge and Kimball Bridge Roads, one mile south of the newly constructed Addison Place Shops, another Roberts property.

In Buford, Roberts assumed $2.7 million in debt and financed the balance with proceeds form the Ballantyne Place sale. The six-year-old center is directly across from the 1.9-million-sf Mall of Georgia. Bassett Furniture Direct anchors the center.

The two acquisitions are Roberts Realty’s third and fourth purchases, as part of a Section 1031 tax-deferred exchange, using proceeds from the $37.9 million sale of Ballantyne Place.

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