Federal Capital Trades Retail in Virginia

Federal Capital Partners bought this distressed property four years ago and turned it into one of the most successful retail centers in town, and now is turning it over to "capable hands."
Howard Jenkins, FCP

Howard Jenkins, FCP

AEW Capital Management, L.P. has acquired Settlers Market, a 239,464-square-foot retail power center in Williamsburg, Va., from Federal Capital Partners for $61.2 million.

Located at the intersection of State Route 199 and Monticello Ave., in James City County, Settlers Market is a popular destination retail center for area residents, college students and millions of visitors to the Williamsburg area. AEW acquired the property on behalf of the AEW Core Property Trust, an open-end core real estate fund.

Originally purchased by FCP and Westmoreland Partners in 2011 as a financially distressed property, today Settlers Market is one of the most prominent and successful retail centers in the New Town Master Planned Development Corridor.

Federal Capital“In Q4-2010, our FCP/Westmoreland Partners JV was attracted to Settlers Market by the potential to fully develop and merchandise what our team viewed as James City County’s best commercial corner that had fallen victim to the economic recession and a subsequent foreclosure,” Howard Jenkins, FCP’s vice president, told Commercial Property Executive. “This 50-acre site exhibited what our team viewed as must-haves: a terrific market, great location, tremendous visibility and exceptional access points; a trade area with demonstrated strong demographics featuring the College of William & Mary; and an already well-established, proximate and complementary retail base and the added bonus of year-round tourism.”

The prior developer had constructed and opened Trader Joe’s, Baker’s Crust, a regional restaurant concept, and BB&T, as well as significant and major site work components.  This along with demonstrated interest from tenants and support of James City County helped enable the joint venture to secure financing from its strong lender relationship, PNC, shortly after its January 2011 closing.

“Settlers Market is part of a 395-acre master planned development in James City County that has been delivered in phases since 2008,” Jenkins added. “Our JV, in close collaboration with James City County, who shared the desire to see this conspicuous location completed, was able to revise the previously approved site plan allowing for a multi-use development that included 240,000 square feet of well-anchored retail space along with 103 townhomes on two adjacent parcels that were subsequently sold in 2014 to the very capable team at Markel Eagle.”

In addition to Trader Joe’s and an adjacent Walmart Neighborhood Market, tenants of the center include Michaels, HomeGoods, ULTA Beauty, Stein Mart, Cost Plus World Market, Party City, Petco, Pier 1 Imports, Zoës Kitchen, Which Wich and Noodles & Co.

According to Jenkins, the sale of the property to AEW Capital Management, L.P., leaves Settlers Market in very capable hands.

“Our JV, along with The Shopping Center Group (property management and leasing) was able to realize our original vision by delivering a 97 percent occupied ‘power village’ with 240,000 square feet of well merchandised retail designed to embrace the region’s distinctive colonial architecture heritage,” he concluded. “Federal Capital Partners is proud to have restored this important retail center to its potential.”