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GASTONIA, NC-Continuing its march through the Southeast, DLC Management Corp. has purchased Akers Center here. The 415,737-sf retail asset is approximately 90% leased, and is eying deals with three new tenants.

Akers Center is anchored by Target, Steve & Barry’s, Hobby Lobby, Rugged Warehouse, Tuesday Morning and Toy’s R Us. According to the company, Steve & Barry’s 28,385-sf lease runs through 2014; Hobby Lobby’s 62,900-sf lease runs through 2013 and the 45,000-sf Toys R Us lease runs through 2015, plus options.

The property currently has nine vacant stores, in which a leasing team is looking to fill soon. The spots range in size from 1,500 sf to 12,000 sf, including a restaurant outparcel. The center was renovated in 2006.

“We are looking for both national and local retailers,” Michael Puline, senior leasing representative based in the Atlanta office, tells GlobeSt.com. “We have three letters of intent out right now, one with a national retailer and two with local retailers. They are all established retailers and another national retailer has expressed interest in the center.”

He adds that the leasing rates for shop space at Akers Center range from the mid- to low-teens, or about $15 to $18 per sf. “It’s a pretty established center. Rugged Warehouse just opened, as did Tuesday morning.”

The Tarrytown, NY-based company did not disclose the selling price or the seller. The deal comes on the heels of several DLC deals. Late last week, as reported by GlobeSt.com, DLC Management acquired nine shopping centers in four Southern states. The acquisition totaled more than one million sf.

While DLC Management does not release the amount of money spent on each acquisition, in a statement regarding the most recent purchase the company is said to have invested more than $300 million for the 18 centers acquired in 2006, totaling more than four million sf.

Earlier this week, DLC formed a development team to meet the growing needs of their tenants. As reported by GlobeSt.com, Alfred Callegari, former New York area regional director of real estate for CVS Pharmacy, was hired to head the division. President Adam Ifshin said part of the thinking behind forming a development arm was that the company had more money than it could spend merely in acquisitions.

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