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MANAHAWKIN, NJ-SP 72 LLC put the ground lease for the 14-acre site–occupied by a then under-construction BJ’s Wholesale Club–up for sale in February, and has been sold, GlobeSt.com has learned. The New York-based Shubert and Booth Theatre LLC is the new owner of the ground lease, paying $14.9 million for the asset. SP 72–an affiliate of a South Jersey developer that has not otherwise been identified–had listed the ground lease in February with an asking price of $15.1 million.

The listing had been with Marcus & Millichap, and the sale was orchestrated by Mark Taylor, VP-investments and senior director of the firm’s National Retail Group in Philadelphia; Dean Zang, associate VP-investment and director of the same group; and investment specialist Christopher Munley, all representing the seller. Shubert and Booth was represented by Bayard Street Capital and Real Estate Foundations Inc.

Located at Route 72 and Doc Cramer Blvd. in this Ocean County community, the 100,000-square-foot BJ’s building is subject to a new 20-year, triple-net unsubordinated ground lease with rent escalations slated every five years. The site is also adjacent to an existing power center, Manahawkin Commons, anchored by Kohl’s, TJ Maxx and Staples. Under construction since mid-2007, the BJ’s store opened this past summer.

The listing brought a half-dozen offers, according to Zang. “We selected Shubert for a number of reasons,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “Shubert was the highest bidder, the BJ’s store was the group’s replacement property in a 1031 exchange and the deal wasn’t contingent on financing. This asset provided the investor with a rare opportunity to acquire a new big-box, single-tenant, net-lease retail property near the Jersey Shore and not far from the New York and Philadelphia metro areas.”

“This property has a strong residual value,” Taylor tells GlobeSt.com. “Escalating land costs in this area, as well as the difficulty in assembling larger tracts of land, make this parcel very valuable.”

A couple of adjacent outparcels–with frontage along Route 72–are not part of the ground lease. Plans are in the works for the construction of two or more retail buildings on those sites by the developer behind SP 72 LLC.

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