New Market Acquires Roswell-Wieuca Shopping Center in Atlanta

Preferred Apartment Communities Buys Asset from Buckhead Family Who Owned Property 70 Years

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With 720 feet of frontage on one of Atlanta's busiest roads and favorite local tenants, it is no surprise Roswell-Wieuca Shopping Center gained status as an iconic Buckhead landmark.

That status helped attract the attention New Market Properties LLC, an emerging powerhouse investor that loves grocery-anchored centers. New Market, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Preferred Apartment Communities (NYSE: APTS) said this week it acquired the 74,370-square-foot center at Roswell and Wieuca roads in an all-cash deal for an undisclosed price.

The center is 100 percent occupied and anchored by a 22,921-square-foot Fresh Market store and an Ace Hardware. It also houses a popular Goldberg's Bagel & Deli outlet and the first Willy's Mexicana Grill, which has blossomed into a local chain.

Roswell-Wieuca Shopping Center attracted significant interest from institution owners, said Daniel "Sonny" Molloy, senior vice president of investments at Marcus & Millichap. He brought the asset to the market on behalf of the former owner, an entity listed as EMPR Properties LLLP.

"We had tremendous interest [in the property]," Molloy tells CoStar News. "We had more than 100 [signed] confidentiality agreements and more than a dozen offers." Neither the buyer nor seller would disclose the sales price, but Molloy did say the family is pleased with it.

Molloy credits the successful sale to the long-time family ownership and its redevelopment and renovation of the center in 2004. Smart planning and execution helped the seller "unlock tremendous value" while establishing the Roswell Wieuca Shopping Center as "an iconic meeting spot. It's just such a centerpiece of the community." Also, he said Brand Real Estate Services excelled at leasing up the center and keeping it full.

The selling entity wishes to remain behind the scenes, Molloy said. But it has direct ties to a long-time, prominent Buckhead family who originally developed the shopping center in 1964. In fact the partnership's initials, EMPR, pay homage to the family matriarch.

Joel T. Murphy, CEO of New Market, said the Roswell-Wieuca center is an "iconic grocery-anchored asset."

"Its irreplaceable location has extremely high barriers to entry, with over 720 feet of unobstructed visibility along Roswell Rd. and five access points to the center. We believe the tenancy will continue to benefit from these strong fundamentals in addition to the impressive surrounding demographics represented by the three-mile population of over 92,000 people and household incomes that exceed $145,000."

With the Roswell-Wieuca Shopping Center acquisition, New Market now owns 38 grocery-anchored centers across seven Sunbelt states.

Please see CoStar Comp #4067871 for more information on the transaction.

Tony Wilbert, Atlanta Market Reporter  CoStar Group