BETHESDA, MD-Traditionally focused on grocery-anchored shopping centers, Edens & Avant’s Mid-Atlantic operations at least are moving beyond this tried-and-true model, according to Steve Boyle, vice president of development in the local office. It is not a formal strategy change, he tells While the company remains interested in its core product he says, “recently we have become focused on other projects and strategies as well.”

These new interests include mixed-use projects, properties that are well located in various submarkets and value add opportunities that can be repositioned. “If it can be improved, then it is something we are willing to take a look at,” Boyle says.

The firm would consider a residential component to a retail project, for example, as well as an office building as an ancillary use in a redevelopment. Boyle draws the line at a shift to pure office plays. “We are not in the office development business.”

The Columbia, SC-based firm’s most recent acquisition in the DC area, a 84,502-sf shopping center in Arlington, VA, for $22 million that was reported last week by, is an example of this strategy, he adds.

Located on South Glebe Rd, Arlington Ridge Shopping Center is a grocery-anchored mall — a traditional Edens & Avant asset — but it has significant upside potential for mixed-use redevelopment, Boyle says.

Boyle could not provide a budget for acquisitions the company plans to make or a dollar figure on what it plans to invest in development. “The company has never put limits on going after the right strategy,” he says. Another competing consideration, he says, is the matter of what is actually available in this market. “It is a very tight, very competitive area.”

Anecdotally, at least, Edens & Avant is part of a growing preference for mixed-use over single-use development in the DC and Mid-Atlantic area. The Bozzuto Group, a multifamily developer based in Greenbelt, MD, recently told that it was moving towards mixed use as well.

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