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COOKEVILLE, TN-Two New York City-based companies have teamed on the acquisition of Jackson Plaza, a 350,000-sf shopping center here. Stonemar Properties, of New York City, and Kimco Realty Corp., of New Hyde Park, NY, paid $30 million for the retail asset.

Stonemar will be the managing member of Jackson Plaza, which was built in 1999, with expansions in 2005 and 2006. It is anchored by an 80,000-sf Sears and a 59,000-sf Belk. Both department stores have long-terms leases. The tenant roster also includes TJ Maxx, Old Navy, Petco and Factory Card Outlet.Emmet Austin, chief investment officer for Stonemar, tells GlobeSt.com the property is 95% occupied, with long-term leases for the big box tenants and three-to-five year leases for the smaller in-line tenants. Rents are in line with other centers, he adds.

“We are very excited about the Southeast, particularly Tennessee and Middle Tennessee,” Austin tells GlobeSt.com, adding that Stonemar is also looking at properties in the Nashville area and in Arkansas, Georgia and Louisiana. “We look to buy high-quality assets with high-quality tenants that are at least 95% occupied.”

Stonemar has two other joint venture properties in Tennessee, but this is the first asset where the company is the managing member, Austin explains. He adds Jackson Plaza is a long-term hold for Stonemar, and the deal carried a cap rate in the mid-7s.

“It’s part of our investment strategy to go into secondary markets in the US, primarily in the Southeast. It flies under the radar of a lot of institutional investors,” Austin tells GlobeSt.com. “This fits or criteria: strong tenant mix, credit tenants, and acts as the mall of the town without the associated costs of a mall.”

Wells-Fargo provided the debt financing for the acquisition of Jackson Plaza, the largest shopping center in the Cookeville trade area. The area, midway between Nashville and Knoxville on Interstate 40, consists of more than 200,000 people with annual retail sales of approximately $1.16 billion.

Stonemar and Kimco have joint ventured on an additional five properties. Stonemar Properties, which also has an office in Santa Barbara, CA, has interests in more than 11 million sf of shopping, power and outlet centers in 20 states. Kimco Realty has an interest in more than 1,519 neighborhood and community shopping centers totaling 180 million sf in 45 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico and Chile.

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