COPPELL, TX-HSM Equity Partners, with backing from New York City-based NDC Capital Partners, has pocketed the win for the 117,187-sf Valley Ranch Centre, landing a value-add play in an 88%-leased class A asset. Comparable retail sales in the submarket have been hovering $130 per sf at closing tables.

The Dallas-based buyer outplayed a half dozen other investors chasing the 10.3-acre center at 820 S. MacArthur Blvd., a sale that took patience due to capital market conditions and environmental issues from a dry cleaners’ site, according to Ken Bendalin, vice president with Dallas-based Staubach Co. The deal is a close-out from his Trammell Crow Co. days when his teammate was Jack Crews, who’s now at Jones Lang LaSalle.

HSM Equity’s offer wasn’t the highest one on the table, but “it was the best,” Bendalin says. Still, the deal took somewhat longer than usual to close because it hit lenders’ desks when subprime fears were widespread and markets in a state of flux. “It took a little time for everyone to get their arms around the capital markets,” he explains, adding other than that “it was a pretty vanilla deal.”

But, all’s well that ends well; HSM Equity is now holding the deed. Bendalin says the grocery-anchored center’s upside potential recently was boosted when city voters approved wine and beer sales in grocery stores, jump-starting a competitive advantage for the asset’s anchor, Tom Thumb, over its peers in the neighboring City of Irving. The change translates into increased store sales to ensure its tenancy in the center, he hints.

Bendalin classifies Valley Ranch Centre’s tenant roster as “pretty stable.” He tells that 9% of the leases roll in 2008, 3% in 2009 and 2% in 2010.

Greg Miller, senior vice president of Henry S. Miller Commercial, says the team’s hit the ground running, with leases working through the pipeline. “We’ve got some upside potential through lease-up of existing vacant space and some rent increases over the next four years because some leases have built-in bumps,” he says. “We’re projecting 8 to 12% cash on cash annual return and IRR of 15% to 16% over a four-year hold.” Wachovia Securities funded the deal in a package arranged by its New York City director, Terry Livingston.

The Jacksonville, FL-based Regency Centers Corp. inherited Valley Ranch Centre in 1998 when it bought Pacific Retail Trust of Dallas. After all these years, the asset was tagged for sale on an un-priced basis during a routine culling of Regency’s portfolio, according to Bendalin.

Valley Ranch Centre, developed in stages from 1989 through 1997, anchors a hard corner at the intersection of MacArthur Boulevard and Belt Line Road. Its shop space is filled with national retailers like Pizza Hut and Baskin Robbins with Washington Mutual on a pad site. Not included in the sale are pad sites occupied by Boston Market and Chevron.

“This is a perfect property for HSM Equity. I’m sure they will do quite well with this one,” Bendalin says.

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