WARMINSTER, PA-In two unrelated transactions, the 130,000-sf Warminster Plaza has been acquired for $12.4 million and the 80,000-sf Country Square Shopping Center in nearby Quakertown commanded $9.5 million. Rent rates at both properties are currently below market, and both centers provide room for expansion.

East Brunswick, NJ-based US Real Estate Acquisitions LLC reached above the list price to beat out more than 15 offers for Country Square, according to Brad Nathanson, a senior associate in the Philadelphia office of Marcus & Millichap. A majority of the offers came from buyers in New York, New Jersey and Maryland. Nathanson and Jordan Muchnick of the same office represented the seller, Bryn Mawr-based Saul Associates. Brent Waterman of Marcus &Millichap’s multihousing group represented the buyer.

Country Square is located at 20 S. West End Blvd. in Quakertown. It was built in 1974 and completely renovated in 2005-2006. It is 95% leased, and key tenants are Goodwill, Sears and Swan Pantry Grocery. “The rents are between $4 per sf and $5 per sf under market,” Nathanson says, adding that the market rate is between $20 per sf and $25 per sf. The new owner plans an additional strip or pad site in front of the 14-acre parcel.

Philadelphia-based Walnut Street Capital, headed by Joseph Grasso, acquired Warminster Plaza, which is located at the intersection of York and Street roads here. It is also on 14 acres and allows for expansion and additional pad sites. Nathanson represented Walnut and the seller, Warminster Group LP, which is based in Conshohocken and is in the process of disposing of its real estate, he says.

This center was built in 1963 and recently lost a Rite Aid pharmacy and Staples, which left occupancy at between 50% and 60%. The new owner will invest approximately $5 million to totally reposition the property as Grasso has with others in Bucks County, “turning it into a Main-Street, lifestyle-type center,” Nathanson says.

The current rents are between $15 per sf and $19 per sf, and Nathanson says market rate in this area of the Main Line is from $23 per sf to $28 per sf. “The buyer is in negotiations with a national office supply retailer, an upscale furniture store, a coffee shop and a bank,” he says. In addition, he tells GlobeSt.com that as the property went to market and prior to the close, a 60,000-sf adjacent former Pathmark unit was sold and will be operated by Waterloo Gardens, an upscale patio retailer. That complements Walnut’s plans perfectly,” he points out.

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