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ELKHART, IN-Equity Investment Group, based in Fort Wayne, has purchased the 179,602-sf North Pointe Plaza from West Bloomfield, MI-based NP Associates LLC, an affiliate of First Holding Management Co. LLC. The center, which is 93% leased, includes anchors Martin’s Super Market and Kmart, as well as tenants Beneficial Finance, GNC and Fashion Bug.

Ben Wineman, SVP with Oakbrook Terrace, IL-based Mid-America Real Estate Corp., says the sales price of the 18-year-old property is not being disclosed. Sources say similar centers, such as the 81,651-sf Elkhart Plaza West at 1200 N. Nappanee St., sold last year for $86 per sf. Wineman and associate Joe Girardi represented the seller in the transaction, with the buyer representing itself.

The center does well in large part because it is directly across the interchange for the Interstate 80/90 Tollway, Wineman tells GlobeSt.com. Also, the Martin’s is the dominant grocer in the area, and this has always been a strong performing store, he says. The tenant CVS is leaving the center to build an out-lot across the street, so there will be some more vacancy soon, he says. Elkhart is seen as one of the retail centers of northwest Indiana, along with University Park Mall about 10 miles west on the toll road.

At almost 20 years old, the property needs more TLC than the Michigan owner can provide, Wineman says. “The owner’s majority of assets are in Michigan; this is an outlying property in their geographic portfolio. They’ve owned it for some period of time and done well, but it’s going to require some near-term revitalization and repositioning in the marketplace. It was too difficult for them to deal with that from the Detroit area, so it was the better idea to sell it to the next guy who can capitalize on the opportunity, which Equity bought it to do,” Wineman says.

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