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CATONSVILLE, MD-A fully leased 4,047 square foot retail strip center located outside of Baltimore recently traded for $1.2 million, or $305.90 per square foot. The buyer was AK Holdings; the seller was an affiliate of MDRE Equities. Perhaps more notable, the fully leased Paradise Junction traded at an aggressive cap rate of 7.79%–which is not uncommon among small sized deals these days, according to Dean Zang of Marcus & Millichap. Zang along with Mark Taylor and Derrick Dougherty represented the seller.

Lately, he tells GlobeSt.com, “we have been finding that the smaller deals are trading at more aggressive cap rates–and creating opportunities for owners that have outparcels in retail holdings.” These companies have been selling off such components; in some cases the parts are proving to be more valuable than the whole, he says. “We are even representing some REITs that are carving out these parcels and reselling them in small sized transactions.”

As it happens the Paradise Junction deal was not carved out of a larger property, Zang says. In this particular transaction it didn’t have to be: the property is well situated less than one-half mile from Frederick Road’s interchange with the Baltimore Beltway. The property was encumbered by an non-recourse first mortgage at a below market rate–in other words the buyer could assume debt not available in the current market. The loan had a ten-year term and thirty year amortization with a rate of 5.97%.

This deal is part of a larger three-month trend of increased transactional velocity, Zang says. What is different now is that more of the buyers are local. “Before we would always get offers for almost any deal from around the country; now we are seeing more investors settle into a comfort zone of two-hours–they don’t want to be more than a two-hour drive away from the property they buy.” 

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