UPDATE: Slate buys 2 more U.S. shopping centres

It’s been anything but a quiet summer at the lake for executives at Slate Retail Real Estate Investment Trust (SRT.UN-T).  In the past three months, the REIT has purchased 10 U.S. shopping centres.

Two of those announcements have come in the past five days, namely  the purchases of North Lake Commons in Chicago and Dorman Centre in South Carolina.  

North Lake Commons in Chicago is the most recent shopping centre purchased by Slate Retail REIT. (Google Maps image)

North Lake Commons in Chicago is one of the most recent shopping centre purchased by Slate Retail REIT. (Google Maps image)

Five of the purchases are of individual properties, while the other consists of a five-asset portfolio. In all, Slate has spent about US$168 million this summer.

The most recent deal is for the Dorman Centre, located just off I585 in Spartanburg, S.C., a few kilometres east of Charlotte. The shopping centre is situated in a retail node and anchored by Walmart. It was bought for US$46 million ($118 per square foot) and is 97 per cent occupied.

On Friday, it announced the purchase of North Lake Commons, a community shopping centre anchored by food retailer Jewel Osco and 89 per cent occupied. The purchase price is US$15.6 million ($122 per square foot).

Slate says the purchases of both these properties are expected to close in the third quarter. 

Slate Asset Management L.P. is the REIT’s manager and will oversee all of the properties once the deals close.

Purchases started in June

Slate’s other purchases since June include:

* Good Homes Plaza in Orlando, which was announced on Aug. 28. The property is 88 per cent occupied and anchored by Publix. It was purchased for $23.8 million ($144 per square foot);
* Duluth Station shopping centre just outside Atlanta for $9.75 million ($103 per square foot). The Publix-anchored shopping centre is 81 per cent occupied;
* Battleground Village in Greensboro, N.C., which was announced on June 16. The shopping centre is anchored by Earth Fare and 98 per cent occupied. It cost $14.43 million (191 per square foot);
* A five-property portfolio located in Florida and Pennsylvania, which kicked off the summer buying binge on June 7. These shopping centres, located in Pensacola and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., as well as Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton and State College, Pa., comprises 654,610 square feet and all are anchored by foot retailers (Publix, The Fresh Market, Weis Markets and Giant Food). The portfolio is 94 per cent occupied and cost $105 million or $160 per square foot. In addition, all five are located in the REIT’s existing market areas.

Slate increases lines of credit

The trust also announced in June it has increased its revolving credit facility and its term loan, by $70 million apiece (for a total of $140 million). Slate’s term loan and its revolving credit facility both now stand at $362.5 million, of which $75.5 of its credit facility has been drawn.

Slate Retail REIT focuses on U.S. grocery-anchored real estate properties. It owns and operates more than $1 billion in assets across the top 50 U.S. metro markets, and seeks out properties which are regularly visited by consumers for their everyday needs.

Slate currently owns 81 assets comprising 10.1 million square feet.

All of the agreements are considered binding, subject to what Slate calls “customary closing conditions” and all are expected to close in the fall.

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