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HOUSTON-Monthly Income and Growth Fund III, an affiliated merchant development fund of locally based AmREIT, has acquired the 43,000-sf Westside Plaza, now being primed for a renovation and landscaping upgrades.

Sold by Dallas investor Steve Shafer of Shafer Plaza I Ltd., the shopping center, located on the southeast corner of Westheimer and Dunvale roads, is assessed at $7.2 million by Harris County. The recorded sale price and improvement costs could not be obtained by publication time.

Vaughan Ford, senior vice president of investments for Henry S. Miller Commercial’s Houston office, tells GlobeSt.com that a retail center similar to Westside Plaza trades at an approximate 7% to 7.5% cap rate. “This was the only property (Shafer) owned in Houston,” says the deal’s sole broker.

An AmREIT contact says Westside Plaza and similar properties purchased through the REIT’s affiliated funds are typically short-term holds rather than long-term. “In our actively managed funds, such as this one, we turn the properties around and catch their short-term value,” she says. “Typically, the funds have an average lifecycle of around six to seven years. And within that, we turn properties every three to four years.”

The center, built in 1995, was 100% leased at closing time. Ford did say a couple tenants would soon be leaving.

“Shafer is planning to buy some other properties in the Dallas area he wants to develop,” says Ford, explaining the seller’s motivation for divesting the property. “He lives in Dallas. He’s developed properties up there so he’s probably just wanting to focus in his backyard.”

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