Another Big Apple buyer has poured its money into Richmond real estate.
New York-based Katz Properties earlier this month acquired nearly 66,000 square feet of retail space at the Town Center at Twin Hickory on Nuckols Road in Glen Allen. The $16 million purchase Katz’s first push into the Richmond market as the northeastern firm looks south.
“You’ve got a stable region that has continued job growth and population growth,” said Katz Properties Principal Daniel Katz. “We’d really like to use this property for a jumping off point for further expansion into the Richmond market and farther south.”
Katz’s purchase included a Food Lion-anchored shopping strip near Twin Hickory Road and two smaller retail buildings at Nuckols and Old Nuckols roads with tenants Starbucks and Samurai Sushi.
Katz Properties bought the 8.6-acre shopping center from South Carolina-based developer Edens, which is currently developing the Martin’s-anchored Charter Colony retail center in Chesterfield.
Other outparcels in the Twin Hickory complex including a CVS and a McDonald’s were not included in the purchase. The deal marks at least the third shopping center Edens has sold to Katz since this summer. Katz picked up two other malls from the developer in a $52 million deal in June.
Katz Properties has cut big deals as it has worked its way toward Richmond. It bought about $100 million worth of property in the Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. markets in 2012, and Richmond is the farthest south the company has ventured. It continues to watch the Richmond market and Katz said the firm has its eye on a couple of properties in Midlothian, though he would not go into detail.
The Twin Hickory property is the third Henrico County shopping center to change hands in as many months. California-based Capstone Advisors paid $7.4 million for the Shops at Wellesley near Short Pump last month. A Baltimore-based firm paid $7.8 million for the Glen Lea Shopping Center on Mechanicsville Turnpike in July.
Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer broker Eric Robison represented Edens in the Twin Hickory deal along with Geoff Millerd, a Cushman & Wakefield broker in Baltimore. Robison said the string of recent shopping center deals doesn’t necessarily constitute a trend, and Twin Hickory’s 38,000-square-foot Food Lion was the complex’s biggest draw.
Katz’s acquisition strategy centers on grocery store-anchored properties. The firm looks for at least 50,000 square feet and has a minimum purchase price of $10 million, according the company’s website.
“We found that during the downturns people flock to food stores and have continued to patronize them regardless of what happens in the economy, versus some of these flashier malls and lifestyle centers,” Katz said.
Twin Hickory is about 98 percent leased, Robison said, with a deal pending that would put the property at full occupancy. A Northern Virginia-based Katz affiliate will take over property management for the shopping center. It has yet to name a leasing agent.
The company has a few cosmetic tweaks slated for Twin Hickory, but Katz said no major upgrades are in the works for the shopping center.
“Our specific plans are going to be rather straight forward,” he said. “We’ll do some repainting, some façade, some roof work, some landscaping, just a beautification of the property.”