ALLENTOWN, PA-A new tenant and a renewal aggregating 18,976 sf have taken leasing at the Mountainville Shopping Center to 99%. The 118,847-sf center, at 1604 S. Fourth St., is owned by the Lakewood, NJ-based Lightstone Group.

Retro Fitness has signed a lease for 11,500 sf and will open its first Pennsylvania unit at the center this fall. National Auto Sales has renewed its 7,476-sf space for an additional five years. “The Mountainville Shopping Center obviously is a hot spot for prospective tenants, as it’s situated in a high-trafficked area and is easily accessible to consumers,” says Jeff Dash, Lightstone’s VP of leasing, in a statement.

Lightstone acquired the property from White Plains, NY-based Acadia Realty Trust as part of a 17-property, 2.3-million-sf retail portfolio for $52.7 million in April 2002. The portfolio included 10 centers in Pennsylvania and others in Alabama, New York, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Lightstone has since disposed of some of the assets and redeveloped others.

According to Acadia records, it acquired the Mountainville asset in 1983. At the time of Lightstone’s acquisition, David Lichtenstein, chairman, told, “since we’re a private fund we can be in grade B assets without Wall Street screaming at us. We have no problem with acquiring difficult or distressed assets.”

Neither Dash nor Lichtenstein could be reached by deadline. According to a second-quarter retail report from the Philadelphia office of Marcus & Millichap, asking retail rent rates in Pennsylvania rose 3.5% from a year ago. “Steady tenant demand will yield a 3.5% increase this year,” the report states, and pegs current average asking rates at $20.11 per sf.

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