Fidelis Realty Buys Grocery-Anchored Center in Houston

A busy city has to eat, right? In yet another sign that Houston is surging upward again, Fidelis Realty Partners has purchased Willowchase Shopping Center, a 273,200-square-foot property anchored by a 92,800-square-foot Fiesta Market supermarket.

A busy city has to eat, right? In yet another sign that Houston is surging upward again, Fidelis Realty Partners, of that city, has purchased Willowchase Shopping Center, a 273,200-square-foot property anchored by a 92,800-square-foot Fiesta Market supermarket, it was announced Wednesday. 

Cohen Real Estate, of New York, led by President Helen Putterman and senior managing director Vera Thomas, arranged the sale for seller Wheeler Interests, of Virginia Beach, Va. The sale price was not disclosed, and Fidelis declined to speak with Commercial Property Executive. 

The property, on Willow Chase Drive near State Highway 249 and FM 1960, also includes Jo-Ann Fabrics, Family Dollar and Dots among its major tenants and is 85 percent occupied. 

The center is across FM 1960 from the Commons at Willowbrook, a 444,000-square-foot power center developed by Fidelis and featuring such tenants as Bed Bath & Beyond, Sam’s Club, Ross and ULTA Beauty. And it’s across Highway 249 from Willowbrook Mall, a 1.8-million-square-foot super regional center anchored by Macy’s, Dillard’s and JCPenney. 

“Crucial to the deal’s success was the assumption of the existing 30-year loan,” Putterman said in a release. “Getting this done required the sustained commitment and collaboration of both parties, as well as maintaining a close working relationship with the servicer.”

Grocery-anchored centers are hot nationwide, but Willowchase in particular attracted many potential buyers, Putterman told CPE. She cited the store’s large size and noted that Fiesta is a financially strong regional grocery chain.

From the purchase of suburban office buildings and substantial RevPAR growth in the hospitality market, to the opening of a 2,100-acre Boy Scout camp for commercial and residential development, Houston is a steamy market these days. 

One of three shopping centers in a portfolio just bought by Phillips Edison-ARC Shopping Center REIT Inc. is the 149,000-square-foot Kleinwood Center in the suburb of Spring, the company’s first-ever purchase in Texas. The center is anchored by an H-E-B grocery store under a long-term lease.