Shopping Center in Virginia Waterfront Community Fetches $79M

Ownership of Jefferson Commons, a 306,000-square-foot shopping center in Newport News, Va., has changed hands in a transaction valued at approximately $79.6 million. Inland Western Retail Real Estate Trust Inc. purchased the shopping center from an affiliate of its developer, The Goodman Co.Located at Jefferson Ave. and Bland Blvd., Jefferson Commons is a three-year-old shopping center with a list of anchors that includes Ross Dress for Less, TJ Maxx, Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse, Trader Joe’s and Petco. Other retailers on the tenant roster include Chili’s, Lane Bryant, Panera Bread and Starbucks. Another anchor at the property, Kohl’s, was not included in the sale and is excluded from the aforementioned square footage. Goodman, represented in the transaction by real estate services firms CB Richard Ellis Inc. and The Shopping Center Group, walked away from the deal with a tidy profit, as the company spent just $40 million to develop Jefferson Commons in 2005. Newport News, a submarket of the greater Hampton Roads region, is a thriving retail market with an average vacancy rate of 4.6 percent, according to a fourth quarter 2007 report by commercial real estate services firm Thalhimer. Goodman remains active in other nearby markets, and has two new projects on the horizon. The 500,000-square-foot Landstown Commons in Virginia Beach is on schedule to reach completion this spring, and the approximately 800,000-square-foot Shoppes at Murphy’s Mill in Hampton Roads is due to deliver in 2009.With the acquisition of Jefferson Commons, Inland Western’s retail portfolio in Virginia now consists of two properties; in 2005, the company purchased the 80,000-square-foot Chantilly Crossing in Chantilly in for $27.8 million. Inland Western is not only in the buying mood these days, it is also going on a bit of a building spree as the company entered into a $500 million strategic joint venture with Juliet Cos. in January for the development of multi-tenant retail projects in major metropolitan markets across the western United States.Headquartered in West Palm Beach, Fla., Goodman has developed, owned and managed in excess of 18 million square feet of commercial space over the last five decades. The company is active in Florida, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, and presently has a development portfolio of 5 million square feet. Inland Western is an Oakbrook Ill.-based REIT that focuses on the acquisition and management of properties in states west of the Mississippi River. Its portfolio consists predominantly of grocery-anchored and discount store-anchored retail assets.