Equity One, NY Common Retirement Fund Form JV

Per the agreement, the Common Retirement Fund will own a 70 percent stake in the joint venture, leaving Equity One with the remaining 30 percent, as well as management and leasing responsibilities for all shopping-center assets to be purchased.

May 16, 2011
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

Courtesy Flickr Creative Commons user mindluge

Combining capability with capital, premier retail property REIT Equity One Inc. and New York Common Retirement Fund create a new joint venture and go on the hunt for high-quality grocery-anchored shopping centers.

As per terms of the agreement, CRF will own a 70 percent stake in the joint venture, leaving Equity One with the remaining 30 percent, as well as management and leasing responsibilities for all assets to be purchased. The partnership kicked off its new endeavor with two acquisitions from Equity One for an aggregate $39.4 million. The joint venture acquired the 100,200 square-foot Country Walk Plaza in Miami and the 44,900 square-foot Veranda Shoppes in Plantation, Fla., which features 44,900 square feet.

Country Walk Plaza, developed in 1985, counts Publix grocery store as its anchor. Equity One snapped up the property in 2010 for $27.8 million. The four-year-old Veranda Shoppes, also anchored by Publix, became part of Equity One’s portfolio last year when the REIT bought it for $11.7 million.

Together, Country Walk Plaza and Veranda Shoppes have an average occupancy level of 96.7 percent.

For Equity One, teaming up with CRF marks a step toward the achievement of the company’s current goals. “As part of our strategy to upgrade and diversify our portfolio and recycle our existing capital, we evaluate opportunities to sell assets or otherwise contribute assets to existing or new joint ventures with third parties,” the company noted in its first quarter earnings report.

“This venture provides us with a highly regarded capital partner who shares our long term perspective on the ownership of institutional quality shopping centers,” Jeff Olson, CEO of Equity One, said. “This new alliance will enable us to continue our strategy of upgrading and diversifying our portfolio into the most densely populated, supply constrained markets of the country.”