Wheeler Buys Norfolk, VA Shopping Center for $86M

Several national retailers anchor JANAF Shopping Yard, which is situated approximately nine miles from Wheeler's corporate headquarters.

JANAF Shopping Yard at 5900 E. Virginia Blvd. in Norfolk, Va.
JANAF Shopping Yard at 5900 E. Virginia Blvd. in Norfolk, Va.

Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust has entered a purchase and sale agreement for JANAF Shopping Yard in Norfolk, Va. Through its wholly-owned subsidiary, WHLR-JANAF LLC, the company will acquire the retail center for an expected price of $85.6 million from four different entities.

Located at 5900 E. Virginia Beach Blvd., JANAF Shopping Yard features 887,917 rentable square feet. The asset is anchored by many national retailers, such as BJ’s Wholesale Club and Fuel Center (151,345 square feet), Big Lots (42,500 square feet), T.J. Maxx (37,383 square feet) and service providers, including the U.S. Postal Service and SunTrust Bank. The property features a 37,234-square-foot office in a different building. At the time of the transaction, JANAF Shopping Yard was 94 percent occupied.

Long-term play

JANAF Shopping Yard is on the northeast corner of highways 13 and 58. According to the property manager’s website, the two roads have a combined daily traffic count of 85,000 cars. There are two other major thoroughfares nearby, interstates 64 and 264, with a diamond interchange approximately two miles from the property.

The REIT’s newly-acquired retail center underwent several renovations since its original construction in 1959. The company has its corporate office in Virginia Beach, Va., approximately nine miles from the asset. “JANAF is an iconic property located right here in our back yard in Virginia. The asset is centric to our business strategy of owning the dominant center in secondary and tertiary markets. We expect JANAF to be a long-term play for WHLR as we believe there is tremendous value in the underlying real estate,” said Jon Wheeler, chairman & CEO of Wheeler REIT, in a prepared statement.

For the acquisition, the company assumed securitized mortgage loans of approximately $58.4 million. The primary loan Wheeler REIT closed on has a $53.3 million balance, with a fixed interest rate of 4.49 percent, pre-payable 90 days prior to its July 2023 maturity. Wheeler also assumed a second loan of $5.1 million, with an interest rate of 4.95 percent, pre-payable six months prior to the January 2026 maturity term.

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