New Hyde Park, NY—Kimco Realty Corp., a locally based REIT, and Schottenstein Stores Corp., a private retail business holding company based in Columbus, OH, have a letter of intent to buy 50 retail properties leased to grocer Albertson’s Inc. for $160 million. The seller is Newkirk Realty Trust Inc., which said in an announcement that the anticipated third-quarter closing of the deal depends on a number of conditions, including “the consummation by buyers of their acquisition of certain assets of Albertson’s Inc.”

As reported in NET LEASE forum in February, Kimco and Schottenstein are part of a consortium of investors purchasing the Boise, ID-based Albertson’s business for a total $17.4 billion in cash, stock and debt assumption. Just what the two firm’s intentions are for the properties being sold by Newkirk, which has offices in Boston and Jericho, NY, are unclear. A Kimco spokesperson did not respond to an inquiry at deadline.

No specifics were revealed about the Albertson’s properties that Newkirk plans to sell. The price averages to $3.2 million a property. A recent Newkirk filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission indicates that its portfolio includes 71 properties leased to Albertson’s nationwide. Many have lease term expirations over the next few years, as well as renewal options. Albertson’s is currently Newkirk’s second largest tenant in terms of aggregate annualized rent payments.

In other news, Newkirk and Winthrop Realty Trust, which also has offices in Boston and Jericho and shares the same management team as Newkirk, including CEO Michael Ashner, have formed a joint venture to acquire and originate loans secured either directly or indirectly by property assets. Each REIT has committed up to $50 million to the JV, and the venture has entered into a $300 million repurchase agreement with Atlanta-headquartered Column Financial Inc., the Credit Suisse First Boston commercial mortgage lender. With that agreement, the JV “expects to leverage up to 75% of the assets held in the joint venture,” according to a Newkirk announcement. It expects to enter a second similar agreement that will provide it with an additional $200 million in leverage, as well. That will give the JV $600 million of lending power.

As part of its capital commitment to the new venture, Newkirk has contributed loan assets it already owns. They are secured by properties leased to JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Toys “R” Us Inc.

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