Washington Real Estate Investment Trust said yesterday that it has purchased the Bradlee Shopping Center in Alexandria for $9.5 million and plans to spend $2 million to renovate the 25-year-old complex at King Street and Braddock Road.

Washington REIT said it purchased the complex -- which includes Giant Food, Drug Fair, Roy Rogers and G. C. Murphy stores -- because it was near a heavily populated, middle-income neighborhood with significant growth potential.

"We plan to spend $2 million to add stores, upgrade its appearance and improve the store mix," said Howard Cochran, chief financial officer for Washington REIT.

"That's not to say we would throw any existing tenants out," Cochran said. "There is plenty of room for expansion" to create the changes Washington REIT seeks.

The new owners, who replace a private partnership called the Bradlee Shopping Center Joint Venture, plan to improve the complex's looks through new landscaping and a common roof to link all the tenants. Beyond that, Cochran said the company is looking at a variety of alternatives, including opening a new restaurant or a small office building.

Washington REIT will pay $8 million in cash for the center and assume a $1.5 million mortgage.