Cotswold Expands in Philadelphia Market

The Cotswold Group knows a good redevelopment opportunity when it sees one.

Photo: Josh, flickr user

The Cotswold Group acquired the Pottstown Plaza, a 159,327-square-foot shopping center in Pottstown, Pa., from Hudson Advisors.

CBRE represented both sides in the transaction. The price of the deal was not disclosed.

Pottstown Plaza is anchored by Tractor Supply and includes Applebee’s, Dominos Pizza and Fulton Bank. There’s also a dark Giant, which vacated its space in 2009 and a dark space once the home of TJ Maxx, which moved to Upland Square last year.

“This was a tremendous value-add in a burgeoning market,” Kevin McClernon, senior vice president with CBRE’s Wayne, Pa. office, said in a company release. “Pottstown Plaza offered a low unit cost and outstanding investment return. With limited competitive future development, this presents an excellent redevelopment opportunity for the 17-acre Plaza.”

CBRE will also lease the property through Adam Kohler and Patrick O’Donnell, and help with property management through Alex Amerine.

Cotswold is no stranger to the Philadelphia market. It now owns eight shopping centers in the area, including the Village at Newton and several in Northeast Philadelphia. All fit the company strategy of finding value-add properties.

The company is planning to make some exterior improvements to Pottstown Plaza to boost its curb appeal and fill up the two vacancies.

According to CBRE’s Fourth-Quarter Research Report, positive activity abounds throughout the Philadelphia region’s retail market. The report credits the area’s strongly diversified regional economy, which continues to grow jobs, to improving consumer activity.

Sales transactions of retail properties remains very strong, cap rates are declining, and investors are increasingly searching secondary and tertiary trade areas in the region for value.

Colliers International’s most recent Eastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, and Delaware Retail Commercial Real Estate Research & Forecast Market Report shows the regional retail vacancy rate in the Philadelphia area increased from 7.5 to 7.7 percent during the last two quarters of 2014 following a decrease during the first half of the year.