KEENE, NH—Two shopping plazas across the street from each other have changed hands, acquired by a fast-growing retail investor from Tarrytown, NY. DLC Management Corp. paid $62.9 million for a 395,000-sf package that includes a 101,000-sf Maine retail center secured in April. The portfolio was divested by Federal Realty Investment Trust, a retail REIT refocusing its New England platform on suburban Boston.

The larger of the NH properties is the 218,000-sf Riverside Plaza, an L-shaped complex anchored by a Wal-Mart and housing such retailers as Dollar Tree, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Shaw’s Supermarket. Key Road Plaza has a KB Toys, Petco, Rentway, Staples and TJ Maxx among the tenants filling the 76,000-sf of available space. There is an opportunity to create a 7,500-sf out-parcel there, while Riverside Plaza has one 3,500-sf inline space for rent.

“Keene has successfully combined New England charm with a strong retail presence while preserving the architectural integrity of its town,” DLC President Adam Ifshin said in a release announcing the acquisition. Southwestern NH is among the region’s most affluent and fastest growing areas, he says. DLC estimates a population of 46,000 consumers and an average household income exceeding $51,000 within a 10-mile radius of the properties, located at Route 10 and Winchester St. From a retail perspective, DLC views the market as limited in supply and bearing strong barriers to entry.

DLC put its imprint on New England last autumn in buying a Connecticut retail property, the Tri-City Plaza in Vernon, and the Namco Plaza in Seekonk, MA, but the company is weighted in the mid-Atlantic and southeastern US. The other purchase this year was a 67,000-sf retail plaza in Oakbrook, IL. The portfolio of 70 shopping centers and 14 million sf is located in 23 states, with DLC extending its westward holdings to Lincoln, Nebraska last year.

Based in Rockville, MD, Federal Realty estimates a book gain of about $2 million in the sale of the three centers to DLC, and has already directed proceeds from the divestment to support a $150 million investment of retail in Greater Boston, most significantly Linden Square in Wellesley. That 18.4-acre parcel will open later this year as part of a 250,000-sf mixed-use development featuring housing, office space and retail that has already attracted such stores as California Pizza Kitchen, National Denim, Starbucks and Cold Stone Creamery.

According to Federal Realty chief investment officer Jeff Berkes, the Boston acquisitions and sale of the portfolio to DLC reflects Federal Realty’s ability to identify off-market opportunities and to successfully reposition its platform when deemed prudent. The latest machinations, he adds, shows that Federal Realty “can maintain our disciplined approach to acquiring assets whereby we can utilize our redevelopment and leasing expertise to create significant shareholder value.” The company’s portfolio now encompasses 19.7 million sf, mostly in the northeast and mid-Atlantic, as well as assets in California.

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