OWINGS MILLS, MD-Locally-based Black Oak Associates has made its fifth CRE acquisition in the past 18 months: a 117,000-square-foot grocery anchored shopping center for $22.5 million. Located here, the Giant-anchored New Town Village is more than 94% leased to such tenants as Merritt Athletic Club, Starbucks and M&T Bank. Rockville Bank in South Windsor, CT, provided the financing. Black Oak has tapped Keith Barnett at KLNB Retail to manage leasing.
This acquisition is the firm’s fifth in the past year and a half. Many of its other buys have been in nearby markets, such as Cumberland and Laurel, MD, and Manassas, VA. It also made a debt purchase in Latrobe, PA. New Town Village, though, could be called a hyperlocal deal for Black Oak—it is approximately a few minutes away from the office.
Grocery-anchored retail is a staple among retail investors in most markets, including the Mid-Atlantic, although figures from Delta Associates show sales may be flagging a bit here. For the first four months of the year, there were four major transactions in the local area, for a total of $376 million. In the same period for 2011, $454 million in deals transacted. One notable recent deal Delta pointed to was the acquisition of Westgate Plaza in Prince William County for $33.8 million, or $207 per foot. It, too, is anchored by Giant Food.
Other than the blip in investment sales, fundamentals for this asset class are strong. Delta notes that the metro-wide vacancy rate for grocery-anchored shopping centers dropped to 5.5% at year-end 2011, from 5.6% at year-end 2010.