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CONWAY, AR-Two years after acquiring the 180,000-square-foot Conway Towne Centre as part of its NewPlan Excel portfolio buy, Australia-based Centro Properties Group is disposing of its sole area asset to a local partnership. The new owners will renovate the 1980s retail center, which area sources note could have traded for anywhere between $60 and $80 per square foot.

“This is a pretty good-sized deal for that market,” comments Daryl Peeples, president with Flake & Kelley Commercial in Little Rock, AR. Peeples had the listing for the asset at 201 State Highway 61 North with colleagues John Flake and Gary Smith. Flake & Kelley is also handling management and leasing for the property.

Conway is a bedroom community about 30 miles north of Little Rock. Peeples tells GlobeSt.com that Conway will also soon boast a Hewlett-Packard call center. Furthermore, the town is at the edge of the Fayetteville Shale, which attracted Southwestern Energy. The company unveiled plans last December to build a headquarters in the town.

“Conway is growing, and a great market,” Peeples says. “We think our center is in a great position for this area. It’s located right on the Interstate in a great location, and we’re excited about taking this to market and making some things happen.”

Peeples explains that the plan is to market the 60%-leased center aggressively to local and regional companies. Furthermore, Peeples says he’ll use the company’s ChainLinks Co. affiliation to market to national retailers. “There really hasn’t been a concentrated local marketing effort in the past,” he comments.

Though upgrades are in the works, nothing specific has been decided as yet, nor has a budget been set. Peeples says the center’s name will stay the same. Furthermore, he adds there won’t be much, if any, roll in 2009. Tenants include Bath and Body Works, Hibbett, JC Penney, Cinemark and Cato.

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