Retail developer Edens & Avant buys 30th Washington-area shopping center
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Edens & Avant, a national retail developer and operator, said Monday it has purchased the Hunters Woods Village Center in Reston for an undisclosed price, an acquisition that brings to 30 the number of Washington area shopping centers owned by the company.
"We are absolutely focused on investment in this market for the long term," said John Cocker, Edens & Avant's director of investments for the mid-Atlantic region. "And Hunters Woods is a great example of the product type that Edens & Avant would be interested in acquiring."
Anchored by a Safeway grocery store, the 120,195-square-foot Hunters Woods is typical of the more than 129 retail centers in Edens & Avant's national portfolio. The company, based in Columbia, S.C., specializes in the acquisition and development of neighborhood shopping centers or mixed-use, open-air properties.
This latest deal comes on the heels of a string of recent buildouts and renovations for Edens & Avant in the Washington region. In late June, Edens & Avant broke ground on the Mosaic, a 31-acre town center in Merrifield scheduled to open in fall 2012. The development, which is more than 60 percent leased, features 400,000 square feet of retail space, a 150-key hotel room, 60,000 square feet of office space, an eight-screen movie theater and 114 townhouses.
Work is also underway for the redevelopment of two additional properties in Northern Virginia. At the Shops at West Falls Church, just off Lee Highway, the company is remodeling the Safeway and adding a pancake house. Edens & Avant bought the 85,097-square-foot shopping mall in 2005 for $18.6 million as a part of the purchase of several properties, according to Real Capital Analytics.
In Arlington County, the company is repositioning Arlington Ridge, an 84,502-square-foot strip center that it purchased in 2007 for $21.7 million. The shopping center will feature outdoor dining and pedestrian-friendly walkways. Construction on both assets is slated for completion this fall.
Edens & Avant is also planning some capital improvements for Hunters Woods next year, hoping to bring the center, which is more than 95 percent occupied, to capacity. The company is renovating more than 20 of its shopping centers nationwide.
"We like to create places where the community can be engaged with the businesses in our shopping centers," Cocker said. "And we believe that we can add value for the community with these redevelopments."
Although a number of Edens & Avant's assets are located in the Washington suburbs, the company is also seeking to establish itself in the downtown D.C. retail market, most notably with the acquisition of the 116,083-square-foot retail portion of CityVista in Mount Vernon Triangle. Cocker said that the company will entertain other acquisitions or ground-up development opportunities in the Washington market as they present themselves.