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BOSTON-Ohio-based Developers Diversified Realty is acquiring a portfolio of eight grocery anchored shopping centers in three New England states, sources are telling GlobeSt.com. The assemblage of 660,000 sf is expected to fetch more than $100 million for the sellers, a partnership of Heitman and the California State Teacher’s Retirement System.

“They have it under agreement,” relays one industry professional familiar with the negotiations, a notion supported by others. The bulk of the portfolio is in Massachusetts, but there are also assets in North Windham and Waterville, ME, and in Warwick, RI. The Massachusetts holdings are in Cohasset, Easton, Hanover, Plymouth and Waltham. All except the latter property are anchored by a Shaw’s Supermarket, a dominant retailer in New England.

Calls to Heitman officials at the firm’s Chicago headquarters and to DDR were not returned by press deadline. Broker Geoff Millerd of Cushman & Wakefield declined comment on the status of a portfolio his firm’s Capital Markets Group has been peddling since the summer. In an August 14th GlobeSt.com article reporting the availability of the centers, Millerd said he anticipated solid interest due to their young age and a mix of stability and growth opportunities. At the time, observers predicted the portfolio would exceed $100 million, but the resulting upheaval that has overtaken the commercial real estate sales sector had thrown that prospect into doubt among some tracking the negotiations.

Despite the difficulties, sources say they believe the deal will exceed $100 million, with the range estimated at $100 million to $110 million. According to one official, there were several offers reaching nine figures. A senior director and specialist in the retail market, Millerd would only say C&W has been “encouraged” by the response among bidders. Other members of the C&W team handling the sale include Capital Markets Group chief Robert Griffin Jr., principal Edward Maher Jr. and Mike D’Hemecourt.

Touted as the nation’s leading developer, manager and owner of market-dominant shopping centers, DDR has $22.5 billion of assets under management and an operational portfolio of 161 million sf in 743 properties. There is also 23 million sf in its development pipeline valued at another $4 billion. The self-administered, self-managed REIT has properties in 44 states, including every New England state except New Hampshire. In Massachusetts, the firm owns Gateway Center in Everett, Shoppers World in Framingham and the Riverdale Shops in West Springfield.

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