CINCINNATI—As reported in, in the first three quarters of 2014 Phillips Edison-ARC Grocery Center REIT II, Inc. snapped up 48 retail centers across the US with an aggregate price of about $765 million. And in the fourth quarter the company has continued expanding into new regions. It just bought three grocery-anchored shopping centers, one each in Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin, its first acquisitions in these states.

Phillips Edison-ARC typically focuses attention on secondary markets that it predicts will experience solid growth over the next few years. This keeps it out of the intense competition, and lower returns, found in the core markets. And although the still-developing recovery has boosted demand and occupancy at well-located centers, in general developers have still not shown much willingness to launch new construction, and this should buoy existing retail and ensure investors get solid returns.     

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