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PHILADELPHIA-New York City-based Time Equities Inc. plans to invest more than $200 million in value-added retail properties in the Greater Philadelphia region within the next 12 to 18 months. Its opening bid is the acquisition of Bell’s Corner, a 75,000-sf shopping center on Bustleton Avenue in the northeastern section of the city.

Luis Cozza, is in charge of the acquisition agenda, which he says also encompasses South Jersey and the Allentown/Lehigh Valley area. He tells GlobeSt.com TEI paid $9 million, or $120 per sf, to Howard Winig, a locally based investor. Winig has owned Bell Corner’s for 20 years. The center was built more than 30 years ago and expanded over time. “We’ll invest about $500,000 to update the property. We like the asset, but it’s a little tired and needs some clean-up,” Cozza says.

It typifies the kinds of properties TEI is looking for. “We want primarily retail centers of between about 75,000 sf and 200,000 sf that we can make more profitable by improving, and, in some cases, repositioning. They should have at least 50,000 people living within a three-mile radius,” he adds. “The Greater Philadelphia region fits into the dynamics of urban-area growth, and it has the density we like.”Bell’s Corner is currently 80% occupied. The major tenants are Bell’s Market and Rite Aid pharmacy. Cozza says the rental rate for in-line retail space is $22 per sf, and the center also includes some lower-level space that could be leased for office.

TEI is a privately held real estate investment, development and management company. Its current portfolio encompasses about 19.4 million sf of residential, industrial, office and retail space in 26 US states, four provinces of Canada and Germany.

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