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Franklinton Square has a new owner
Virginia company acquired local center

FRANKLINTON -- A Virginia Beach, Va. company recently bought Franklinton Square, home to a large grocer, a local restaurant and the town's ABC store.

Tenants have been told they wouldn't notice any differences in rent or anything.

"It's been sold," town ABC Board member Chris Wright told town commissioners during an update on the store's business, recently.

"They've told us that they're not going to change anything," she said.

Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) announced on Friday that they bought three North Carolina properties, including Franklinton Square Shopping Center.

According to the company's release, they bought the 65,336-square-foot location for $5 million -- or $76.87 per leasable square foot.

The property was most recently owned by Henderson-based Barnett Properties.

The Franklinton location is home to Hometown Cafe and some other restaurants and strip mall type establishments. It is at 88 percent capacity.

"We are pleased to continue to grow our asset base with the acquisition of three quality properties in a geographic region that we know very well," said Wheeler REIT Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jon Wheeler.

REIT sourced the acquisition from the seller in an off market transaction, Wheeler said.

"... We believe these properties have upside potential as a result of the efforts of our experienced leasing and management teams," Wheeler said.

"Each location is leased by national tenants that we have long-standing business relationships with, such as Food Lion and Family Dollar.

"We expect the properties to be immediately accretive to the company's earnings."

Besides Franklinton Square, Wheeler REIT also bought Nashville Commons in Nashville.

The 56,100-square-foot center is also anchored by a Food Lion.

The property was bought for $5.9 million, or $105.17 per leasable square foot.

Nashville has a population of about 5,400 people and is the county seat for Nash County, which has a population of about 95,000.

Cardinal Plaza, at the intersection of U.S 1 and I-85 in Henderson, is a 50,000-square-foot property, also anchored by Food Lion.

Wheeler REIT bought the property for $4.4 million, $88 per leasable square foot.

All three properties were owned by Barnett Properties.

"These acquisitions expand our geographic footprint in North Carolina, and we now own 41 retail properties," Wheeler said.

"[We are] a growth oriented company, and we continue to maintain our focus on acquiring retail properties at favorable prices in the markets we target, continuously striving to increase the company's net operating income and move closer to profitability," Wheeler said.

"We look forward to continuing to capitalize on a very robust pipeline at favorable cap rates. This acquisition represents another example of our organization's ability to quickly deploy capital in strong, stable markets."


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