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SPRINGFIELD, NJ-In an all-cash deal, Larken Associates paid $16.3 million for Echo Plaza, a 107,448-square-foot, retail-and-office complex along Route 22 here. Viewed as a value-add play, the new owner intends to make significant capital investments and pursue an aggressive leasing strategy.

In a release announcing the deal, Andrew Merin of Cushman & Wakefield, says that there was a limited pool of potential buyers for the property. “Not all regional owners focus on both retail and office, and even fewer are able to make an all-cash purchase,” he says. “In light of today’s difficult financing environment, especially for investors looking to acquire value-add properties, Larken Associates was the perfect buyer for Echo Plaza.”

Also known as 899 Mountain Ave., the complex consists of a 66,568-square-foot neighborhood shopping center that is 71% leased to a mix of national and local retailers, including Big Lots, Outback Steakhouse and Sherwin Williams. A 40,880-square-foot, three-story office/professional building is 91% occupied by financial, insurance and area services companies.

In a statement, Bernhaut noted that the building presents a viable repositioning opportunity, because of its below-market leases, near-term expirations and available space. Cushman & Wakefield’s Metropolitan Area Capital Markets Group, led by David Bernhaut, Merin, Gary Gabriel and Jose Cruz, arranged the sale. John Garibaldi, of GRC Management, also represented seller Paragano Development LLC.

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