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BOSTON-Linear Retail Properties, LLC, which has long scouted the suburban market for retail sites, has turned to the city with the $3.7-million acquisition of seven retail condos and three basement storage units at Lincoln Plaza in the city.

The acquisition from Cresset Plaza LLC, of Boston, was the first urban buy for the Burlington-based Linear. The move is an indication of the company’s plans to expand its presence into Boston’s urban market, president and CEO William Beckeman tells GlobeSt.com.

“We’re looking to do quite a bit more in the urban market,” says Beckeman, calling the decision to buy the seven vacant retail shops “a logical extension of what we’re already doing.”

Linear, which already owns 17 suburban retail properties, was drawn to the 16,341-sf Lincoln and Essex streets property after learning that Cresset, was offering the storefronts as individual units. Cresset acquired the property two years ago for $27.5 million.

“This was an opportunity where all this space was available so we said, ‘Why don’t we buy them all,’” Beckeman says.

The location had all the right elements for the rapidly expanding Linear. Situated on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway at the confluence of the Financial District, Chinatown, the Leather District and South Station, the property is located in an area that has few retail shops and strong demographics. With 85 condominium units currently under development by Cresset in the same building and a large number of condos and apartments in the surrounding area, Linear hit on a site ripe for retail expansion.

Beckeman says the firm has already spoken to a number of national and local retailers interested in opening in the storefronts, although no leases have yet been signed. “We’ve had some very encouraging, strong interest,” he notes.

Linear’s plans call for renovating the units, but not until tenants are signed on, Beckeman says. That could be soon. The property is one of the city’s first new retail locations, he notes, making it a big draw for retailers looking for a ground-floor opportunity. As part of its lease up strategy, Linear Retail has retained Boston-based the Dartmouth Co., Inc. as exclusive leasing agent for the project.

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