Thursday, August 10, 2017

5-acre parcel sold at Exton Square Mall

By Brian McCullough, Daily Local News

The owner of the Exton Square Mall announced Wednesday it has agreed to sell five acres of the property to a developer of multi-family dwellings.

PREIT – Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust – announced the agreement as part of its second quarter report.

The sale of the Exton property is one of three the Philadelphia-based mall operator announced that is expected to bring the company about $75 million. The company did not break out the price it is receiving in each sale.

The announced transactions are:
• 801 Market Office condominium in Philadelphia – a purchase and sale agreement has been executed with a significant non-refundable deposit. Closing is anticipated during the third quarter.

• Logan Valley Mall in Altoona – a purchase and sale agreement has been executed with a significant non-refundable deposit and closing anticipated during the third quarter.

• Exton Square – a 4.9 acre land parcel is under agreement of sale with a multi-family developer. Closing is expected to occur once entitlements are obtained by the buyer, PREIT said in a statement Wednesday.

PREIT spokeswoman Heather Crowell did not respond to inquiries about the exact location of the Exton property. A person familiar with the project said the acreage is part of the former Kmart parcel that is located between Route 100 and the mall.

Part of that parcel is being used for a Whole Foods grocery store. After months of inactivity, it appears work is taking place inside the fenced-off property.

Neither PREIT nor Whole Foods responded to a request for an update on the much anticipated upscale grocery store.

“This is another example of our ability to execute in a challenging environment,” said Joseph F. Coradino, CEO of PREIT, of the three transactions. “This is a critical step in the further transformation of PREIT into a top-tier mall company. As the retail industry evolves, there are many opportunities to improve the shopping environment, and raising capital through the sale of non-core properties provides the perfect vehicle for creating value for our shareholders.”

PREIT on Wednesday reported second quarter results. The company said its net operating income increased by 1.6 percent for wholly owned property.

Same store net operating income was reduced by $1.6 million as a result of bankruptcies and $300,000 as a result of co-tenancy claims.

Sales per square foot reached $468, a 2.2 percent increase over the prior year.

Non-anchor leased space for malls was 91.9 percent, 190 basis points over quarter end physical occupancy.

“It is clear that in this constantly evolving and sometimes challenging retail environment, our portfolio of high quality properties located in compelling markets is improving in spite of the headwinds,” Coradino said in the report.

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