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WEBSTER, MA-A 102,000-sf retail center serving three states is being purchased by Cedar Shopping Centers. Based in Port Washington, NY, the self-managed REIT will pay $17.7 million for Webster’s Price Chopper Plaza upon closing, an event anticipated to occur by the end of the fourth quarter.

Besides the namesake supermarket anchor that encompasses more than 50% of the center’s space, credit tenants include Burger King, CVS Pharmacy and Fashion Bug. “This property represents a fine addition to our growing portfolio in southern New England,” Cedar vice president of acquisitions Michael Winters says in announcing the agreement with the seller, an affiliate of Plaza Properties LLC of Worcester.

The deal will give Cedar 14 retail assets and more than two million sf in Connecticut and Massachusetts, mostly grocery-anchored shopping centers similar to the latest conquest. Not counting that investment, the REIT has seven Massachusetts properties. The largest is Franklin Village Plaza in Franklin, which has 289,000 sf anchored by Stop & Shop.

Cedar was able to secure the Price Chopper Plaza “at an attractive price,” according to Winters, who adds the supermarket and CVS enjoy strong sales. Besides serving a dense demographic of Massachusetts consumers, the property is on the northern Connecticut border and close to Rhode Island.

The Price Chopper store has fared so well that it is seeking approvals to expand its 58,000-sf footprint by 6,500 sf. Winters says there are additional leasing opportunities that could provide even more value to the operation.

Cedar is one of several investors pursuing retail product in southern New England in recent years. Observers say even the stubborn credit crunch is not preventing such assets from garnering interest. “There is still a ton of equity out there,” says Geoff Millerd of Cushman & Wakefield’s capital markets group. While it didn’t handle the Webster sale, C&W’s Boston team is garnering solid interest for several local retail properties that it is marketing, Millerd says, maintaining that those owners who are balking at putting assets on the block might want to reconsider.

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