The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

April 18, 2012

Publix-anchored shopping center sold for $11.45 million

— The Publix-anchored Eastside Junction shopping center on U.S. 72 in Athens now has a new owner after a $11.45 million transaction.

The Southeast Real Estate Business newsletter reported Monday that Inland Real Estate, a publicly traded firm based in Oak Brook, Ill., purchased the 79,000-square-foot center. The shopping center was sold by developer Bill Ming who retains ownership of all outparcels at the site.

According to Inland Real Estate’s website, the company is one of the Midwest’s “largest owners and operators of community, neighborhood, power and lifestyle shopping centers and single-tenant retail properties, with nearly $1.8 billion in asset acquisition value.”

The majority of the company’s interests are anchored by grocery stores, including Publix and Kroger stores. About 64 percent of the company’s retail square footage is located in the Chicago area and in northwest Indiana.

“They presented an unsolicited offer to buy the Publix-anchored Eastside Junction shopping center and we closed on that two weeks ago. They’re a major operator and it made economic sense, based on their proposal,” Ming said. “That speaks very well of Athens and our community for a publicly traded company … to feel good about our community and buy (a shopping center) here.”

Ming said development on the remaining outparcels is forthcoming and could begin later this year or in early 2013. He said development would be similar to that of Eastside Junction.

“It’s driven strictly by the market and the demand for the space,” he said.

Ming remains busy on other projects, including the upcoming completion of French Farm Pavilion II, a mixed-use development combining retail and office space. The space will be occupied by C-Spire Wireless, Burrito Express, Valley Pools and a second location for the Coleman Dental Group.

Another project on Ming’s radar is the development of a 60-unit senior apartment complex dubbed French Farms Villas. The development would reopen Old Decatur Road, which has been closed since the 1980s and open up about 200 acres of undeveloped land behind Brookhill Elementary School. The move would pave the way for more commercial development in the area.

Ming previously said the second and third phases of the development would include additional residential housing followed by commercial and office space.

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