(For more retail coverage, click GlobeSt.com/RETAIL.)

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX-Rapidly approaching their third year of the hold, Westmount Realty Capital LLC and the Praedium Group have sold the 231,458-sf Richland Centre to a first-time Texas buyer, the Lamar Cos. of Morristown, NJ.

The sale price isn’t readily available, but JV partner Clifford Booth, principal in the Dallas-based Westmount, confirmed that the class A power center traded for less than $30 million. The JV paid $17.8 million in June 2003 for the 21-acre foothold at 8641 Airport Freeway, right across Interstate 35W from North East Mall. “We showed a very good return,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “We’re getting a good return on our investment. The property shows good cash flow and it brought a nice return on the exit.”

The five-building Richland Centre was the first portfolio piece for the Westmount-Praedium JV. “We did some repositioning and re-tenanting,” Booth explains. “We thought it was a good time to exit.” In fact, he says the JV was approached several times to sell the 16-year-old asset so the decision was made to test the market, dangling some upside with an 81% occupancy for prospective buyers.

The nine-tenant roster has no lease rolls this year, according to Booth. The national line-up includes Oshman’s Super Sports, Barnes & Noble, Ross Dress for Less and Ashley Furniture. Booth and Westmount partner Stephen H. Kanoff added two 10,000-sf tenants and extended an existing lease by another decade since they bought the center with equity backing from the New York City-headquartered Praedium. “We felt good about it when we bought it and I think the buyer will have good days as well,” Booth adds.

Lamar got a free-and-clear deed for a Texas inroad in a strong retail corridor and mall periphery at the intersection of Loop 820 and Texas 183. Lamar’s acquisitions director was unavailable for comment prior to publication, but it’s clearly a value-add player. Based on its website, Lamar requires a 15% vacancy and 100,000-sf minimum to win the promise of an all-cash close within 30 to 60 days.

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