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WEBSTER, MA-Two years after stepping into the New England market with the $119.8-million acquisition of a portfolio of seven shopping plazas, Equity One has added another center to its regional mix. The real estate investment trust paid $17.8 million for the 200,681-sf Webster Plaza.

The 70 Worcester Rd. shopping center here is not the last of Equity’s planned acquisition list. The North Miami Beach-based supermarket REIT expects to spend up to $250 million more in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic as it makes an expansion play into both markets.

“We’re looking to go right up the East Coast,” Alan Merkur, senior vice president and director of transitions, tells GlobeSt.com. “The demographics in New England are very strong. The barriers to entry are very strong. That’s why we made a big push into that area.”

The center, anchored by a Big Kmart and a Shaw’s Supermarket under 10 year leases, was acquired from Webster EW LLC and Plaza EW LLC. Markur says the 87% occupied property will undergo a major facade renovation that should help fill vacancies and attract more upscale tenants.

Tim Giambrone, with Marcus & Millichap’s Boston office, handled the transaction for the sellers. Equity One was self-represented.

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