Inland Real Estate Continues Midwest Retail Spree

Inland Real Estate Corp. has been busy in the last month. This week, the firm picked up seven single-tenant retail properties that feature 95,630 square feet of gross leasable area, as well as two grocery-anchored retail properties in Wisconsin, for an aggregate $78.3 million.

Inland Real Estate Corp. has been busy in the last month. This week, the firm picked up seven single-tenant retail properties that feature 95,630 square feet of gross leasable area, as well as two grocery-anchored retail properties in Wisconsin. The single-tenant properties, acquired in conjunction with joint-venture partner Inland Private Capital Corp., cost an aggregate $40.8 million, excluding closing costs and adjustments. The Wisconsin grocery centers were taken for $33 million.

The joint-venture purchase acquired a portfolio of two free-standing stores that are net-leased to CVS Pharmacy, as well as one asset net-leased to Walgreens, for $17.1 million. The venture also acquired a second portfolio for $23.7 million that includes one asset net-leased to CVS as well as three properties net-leased to Walgreens. The stores range in size from 12,900 to 14,490 square feet and are located in seven states. At the time of closing, the IRC-IPCC joint venture placed loans of $25.8 millon on the portfolios.

The JV also acquired the Wisconsin properties together. The first asset, a neighborhood shopping center anchored by a Pick ‘n Save grocery, is located in the village of Mt. Pleasant and was acquired for approximately $21.3 million. The second property, a single-tenant asset leased to the same grocery chain, is in Sheboygan and was acquired for approximately $11.7 million. The Mt. Pleasant center totals 83,233 square feet and is 98 percent leased to tenants including Texas Roadhouse and U.S. Cellular. Both assets are newly constructed.

On the last day of February, Inland Real Estate picked up the Cincinnati-area Stone Creek Towne Center for $36 million and, earlier that week, spent $73.4 million on Westgate Shopping Center in Fairview Park, near Cleveland. Scott Carr, executive vice president and chief investment officer for Inland Real Estate Corporation, called the purchases “a way to facilitate operational and leasing efficiencies.” He went on to note that the area’s demographics, coupled with the properties’ positioning, were “acquired at prices that deliver strong returns.”

Recent data from services firm Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Services Inc. shows that the net-lease space is poised for increased buyer interest in 2012. According to a report written by Bill Rose, the firm’s national director of the national retail group, transaction activity for net-leased drugstore properties has jumped 18 percent in the last 12 months. Cap rates have compressed to the mid-6 or low-7 percent range, and investors are increasingly seeing such assets as safety plays to hedge against the risk of the stock market.