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AUSTIN-Making its first inroad into the area, SCI Real Estate Investments LLC has snagged the 51,052-sf Parmer McNeil Plaza at a 6.7% cap rate in an off-market transaction. The sales price is being kept under wraps due to a confidentiality agreement, but similar properties have traded for $250 per sf to $300 per sf.

The shopping center at 6301 Parmer Lane is 90% leased with a mix of national and credit tenants like Wachovia Corp., Washington Mutual Inc., Starbucks Corp., Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., Cold Stone Creamery and Whataburger Restaurants LP. The tenant base was the impetus for SCI Real Estate Investments LLC to acquire the center from Dallas-based Parmer-McNeil Holdings Ltd.

“What’s great about this particular deal is we were able to buy it on 90% occupancy. Typically sellers will sell on 95% occupancy and guarantee the remaining 5%,” explains Scott Derrick, chief acquisitions officer for the Los Angeles-based SCI. “It means we can lease the 10% and get all the upside.” Derrick points out that the tenants all have long-term leases, whether they are inline or ground. And, there’s enough in the pipeline to hit 100% occupancy.

Although Parmer McNeil Plaza is SCI’s first Austin investment, there are more buys on the horizon. The company has multifamily and student housing complexes scheduled to close in the next six months and is trying to get three more student housing assets under contract before the year ends.

“We think Austin is great in job creation,” Derrick says. “They have real growth–population growth and job growth, which is why we’re buying multifamily, student housing and retail in the area.”

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