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WEST CHESTER, PA-Lutz Real Estate Investments has sold Bradford Plaza, a 140,000-sf shopping center on Downingtown Pike, to a partnership of Philadelphia-area companies for just shy of $27.3 million, or about $195 per sf. The sale includes four adjacent acres of developable land.

The buying partnership, named UCM/TSV-Bradford Plaza LP, includes Plymouth Meeting-based Urdang Capital Management and Tristate Ventures. The latter is a subsidiary of Fameco Real Estate, which represented Lutz in the disposition.

The center was built in 1990. Farmington Hills, MI-based Lutz acquired it in 2001 for an undisclosed price and invested more than $15 million to reposition the asset and add nearly 20,000 sf. The renovation included the replacement of a 43,500-sf supermarket with a 70,000-sf Giant Food Store, which has leased the space for a 20-year term, and the addition of 8,000 sf next to the supermarket. Lutz also added a new parking lot, signage, sidewalk facade and retaining wall along Route 322.

“Our goal was to transform an outdated shopping center into a contemporary neighborhood shopping experience, offering a mix of goods and services appropriate to the community,” says Lutz principal Adam Lutz. “We fulfilled our business plan for the property and achieved our goals.”

This Chester County submarket is one of the fastest growing and most affluent in the Philadelphia suburbs, according to the Philadelphia office of Marcus & Millichap. The company predicted the retail vacancy rate here would drop to 5.5% this year. It also projected a 2.8% rise in retail rent rates to an average of $19.31 per sf for the entire Philadelphia MSA this year.

The median price for neighborhood and community centers throughout the MSA is $122 per sf, according to Marcus & Millichap data. Its report adds that sales in some areas were exceeding $200 per sf.

Last week GlobeSt.com reported that Tristate Ventures entered into an agreement with Port Washington, NY-based Cedar Shopping Centers to construct the 700,000-sf Upland Square in Pottsgrove, near Reading. Calls to Fameco regarding that agreement and this acquisition were not returned by deadline.

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