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DEVON, PA-Philadelphia-based Metro Development Co. has sold Swedesford Plaza to Wharton Realty Group of Eatontown, NJ for $40.5 million, which translates to $266.45 per sf. That is significantly higher than the median sales price for multi-tenant retail properties in the Philadelphia MSA, which is $140 per sf, according to a second-quarter 2007 report from Marcus & Millichap.

The property is the former AMP Corporate Center. Metro Development’s president, Michael Grasso, acquired it in 1996 and redeveloped it into the 152,000-sf shopping center.

Swedesford Plaza is located along Rte. 202, adjacent to the 113,000-sf Valley Fair center, which Metro developed in 1992 and sold two years later. The center is also minutes from the King of Prussia Mall and Worthington, a 2.4-million-sf mixed-use development underway by O’Neill Properties.

A 65,000-sf Circuit City, which subleases a portion of its space to Golf Galaxy, anchors Swedesford Plaza along with a 55,000-sf SuperFresh grocery unit. Additional tenants are Cosi, GolfTEC, Citibank, Hair Cuttery and Bike Line. It is currently 97% occupied.

Peter Maggio and Greg Bianchi of Philadelphia-based US Realty, represented Metro Development in the transaction. Maggio tells GlobeSt.com the asking rent rates at the center are between $28 per sf and $30 per sf, triple-net. Donna Drew of Michael Salove Co., also based in Philadelphia, represented Wharton Realty.

Metro Development is unrelated to Metro Commercial Real Estate, a brokerage firm also based in Philadelphia. Michael Grasso heads a dynasty of Philadelphia developers, which includes his sons David Grasso of Grasso Holdings and Joseph Grasso of J. Grasso Properties. US Realty is representing Grasso Holdings in the leasing of its Valley Square Lifestyle Center in Warrington and the 1601 Vine St. mixed-use tower now underway in Center City.

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