IRVING, TX-Triple Net Properties LLC, offering a seven-day due diligence and closing 21 days later, has pocketed the deed to the 105,864-sf Hunter Plaza from its developer. The deal could lead to one more purchase down the road since the seller is planning to build more retail on an abutting eight acres.

Jeff Hanson, president and CEO of Triple Net Realty Inc., tells that there is no formal deal for the as-yet undeveloped expansion, but the Santa Ana, CA-based investment group certainly is aware of the plan by Hunter Equities Inc. for a second phase at the intersection of Interstate 635 and Olympus Boulevard. The acquisition at 1800-2280 Marketplace Blvd. is the beginning of a push to return to the retail-buying arena after four-year lull and selling all that Triple Net accumulated between 1998 and 2000, he says.

The 11.3-acre Hunter Plaza, developed last year, is bisected by Olympus Boulevard, with a Best Buy-anchored strip totaling 61,864 sf on the east side and a 24-Hour Fitness-anchored strip with 44,000 sf on the west side. The developer’s unsold and vacant tract, capable of supporting another estimated 80,000 sf, abuts the western side of the Best Buy strip.

“It was very aggressively pursued,” says Adam Howells, managing director with Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP, adding a dozen to 14 offers went on the table for the class A prize in a 30-day marketing. The Dallas-based seller didn’t intend for the shopping center to be a merchant build, he explains, but options had been kept open from the onset. “Hunter Equities is a very entrepreneurial company. They pay attention to investors. Their objective was to build a quality project and if the right deal came along,” he says, “they’d sell it and if not, they’d hold it.”

Howells says Triple Net wasn’t the highest offer, but the seven-day due diligence won Hunter Equities’ nod. “They were absolutely jumping through hoops to make it happen. And, we appreciated their efforts,” he says. “Triple Net did exactly what they said they’d do. Hunter is a meticulous seller and they made it easy for everyone.”

With the 90%-leased center being relatively new, there are no lease rollovers for four years, according to Howells, who teamed with HFF senior managing director Barry Brown to close the deal. Transwestern’s Dallas team remains in charge of leasing.

Triple Net analyst Robert Giusti says 75% of the center is leased to credit tenants. Its new construction, quality and location were the prime candidates for a tenants-in-common play, according to the Triple Net executives.

HFF’s Wally Reid arranged a 10-year loan, at a 5.75% fixed-rate interest and 30-year amortization with Wachovia Bank. Hanson says the financing was a 75% to 80% loan-to-value package. Neither broker nor buyer will discuss the price, but it’s not uncommon for class A retail assets to bring upward of $150 per sf.

Hanson says Triple Net is eyeing an eight- to 10-year hold on the asset as it searches for more retail to build a Greater Dallas portfolio, using a $300-million pool that it’s earmarked for this year’s retail buys. “We’ve been looking for retail in select markets across the country,” he says. “We see again selective opportunities to re-enter the sector.”

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