Retail Properties of America Increases DC Presence with M-U Acquisition

Retail Properties of America has snapped up a neighborhood jewel for its portfolio.
Downtown Crown

Retail Properties of America has snapped up a neighborhood jewel for its portfolio. The REIT has completed the $162.8 million purchase of the 280,000-square-foot retail segment of Downtown Crown, a mixed-use development in Gaithersburg, Md., approximately 25 miles outside of Washington, D.C.

Downtown Crown sits at 321 Ellington Blvd., serving as the commercial center of the affluent 180-acre Crown master planned community.  RPAI acquired the retail component from The JBG Cos. and JBGR Retail, which completed development of the property in late 2013 after having joined forces with residential developer Bozzuto on the $28 million acquisition of 20 acres for the project in 2012. Today, nearly 78 percent of the space has been claimed by a roster including Harris Teeter and a host of national and regional restaurants and other retailers.

RPAI is in the midst of reworking its asset base to focus on high-quality, multi-tenanted properties in as many as 10 markets, and the metropolitan Washington, D.C./Baltimore region is on the list. Its geographic repositioning endeavor is also targeting New York City/ Long Island; Chicago; Atlanta; the big Texas towns of Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio; and on the West Coast, Phoenix and Seattle.

Looking ahead, Shane Garrison, COO of RPAI, said during the company’s third quarter earnings call in late October, “We expect the transaction market to continue to favor sellers. Given our disciplined approach to capital allocation and the strength of the disposition market, we now expect to be a net seller in 2015 with dispositions totaling as much as $500 million and acquisitions total approximately $350 million.”