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CHARLESTON, SC-A $4.4-million deal for Creekside Shopping Center in Goose Creek closed last week and the new buyer is readying plans for improvements to the common areas. An affiliate of Benbrooke Realty Investment Co. purchased the 96,000-sf retail asset from locally based Ziff Properties.

The property is 80% leased, with 19,000 sf available for rent. Anchor tenants include Sav-A-Lot, Fred’s, Dollar General, Advanced Auto and La Hacienda, a regional chain based in Charleston, according to George Ackerman, principal at Benbrooke.

He tells GlobeSt.com that the vacant space is divided into small spaces and the company will allow for some “vanilla-box tenant improvement allowances.” Asking rents for the smaller spaces range from $9 to $13 per sf, depending on the size and location, intended use and the exact tenant improvement allowance, Ackerman adds.

Benbrooke is also readying plans for improvements to Creekside Shopping Center. “We have a fairly aggressive plan for capital improvements, including upgrades to the facade, the parking lot and lighting,” Ackerman explains. A roof on one of the smaller buildings will also be replaced. “We plan to spend $250,000 to $300,000 initially over the next two to three months on common area improvements.”

Ackerman tells GlobeSt.com that Benbrooke is hoping the improvements will drive the rents slightly but overall the asking rent is reflective of the area. Erin England of Colliers International is heading up the leasing effort.

According to Benbrooke, the population within the three-mile trade area is more than 41,000 with an average household income of $57,500. The five-mile trade area has more than 86,000 people with an average household income of $53,000. In addition, several housing developments have broken ground, or are in the second phase, near Creekside.

“Creekside Shopping Center is an exciting addition to our growing portfolio. It offers significant potential upside through lease-up of the vacant space, and is in keeping with Benbrooke’s core focus of acquiring value-added properties,” Michael Oestreich, principal at Benbrooke, says in a statement.

Benbrooke principal Rich Lubkin headed up the legal and acquisition financing for this transaction. According to Lubkin, “this is our first acquisition in the Carolinas in what we hope will be many.” Rick Lechtman of the Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group secured the debt financing which was placed with an affiliate of Principal Commercial Acceptance Group.

Benbrooke’s portfolio contains approximately 1.7 million sf of neighborhood and community shopping centers. It has regional offices in White Plains, New York City, Dallas and Princeton, NJ.

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