New ventures

Atlanta — Locally based Ronus Inc. recently formed a real estate asset management and leasing company that will manage and lease more than 6 million sq. ft. of real estate. The new company, Ronus Properties, will oversee primarily Ronus-owned properties previously managed by Atlanta-based CNM Associates, a joint venture between Ronus Inc. and Atlanta-based Ben Carter Cos.

Ronus Properties will own, manage and lease 20 properties in eight states in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. These include 19 retail centers and The Forum, a Class-A office building in Atlanta. CNM, which will now be owned by Ben Carter Cos., will continue to manage third-party and other Ben Carter assets within its portfolio.

Sales & Acquisitions

Gunston, Va. — Baltimore-based Phillips Edison & Co. recently acquired Gunston Plaza, a 206,786-sq.-ft. community center. The seller and purchase price were not disclosed.

Serving the needs of the Lorton and Gunston communities, Gunston Plaza is 63% occupied. Current tenants include Food Lion, U.S. Post Office and Rite Aid. Phillips Edison plans to enhance the center's value through addressing deferred maintenance, leasing currently vacant space, and re-merchandising the tenant mix.

Colorado Springs, Colo. — Jacksonville, Fla.-based Regency Centers recently acquired Woodmen Plaza, a 127,267-sq.-ft. shopping center in Colorado Springs, for $9 million from M&KS Woodmen Development.

Woodmen Plaza is anchored by King Soopers, Hallmark, GNC, Mail Boxes Etc., Avis Rent A Car and Firestone. The deal brings Regency's portfolio to 266 retail properties.

Scottsdale, Ariz.Westcor Partners recently acquired full ownership of Scottsdale Fashion Square, a landmark 2 million-sq.-ft. retail center in Scottsdale. The Phoenix-based owner/manager of commercial properties already owned 50% interest in Scottsdale Fashion Square, but acquired the remaining interest from a group of institutional investors advised by Lend Lease Real Estate Investments. Anchors at the center include Dillard's, Robinsons-May, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom.

Sydney, Australia — Locally based Westfield Holdings Ltd., which owns Los Angeles-based Westfield America, recently acquired a $488 million stake in Rodamco North America NV.

Westfield Holdings, which acquired a 23.9% stake in Rodamco, announced plans to assume management of the Dutch developer's 41 U.S. centers and to merge that portfolio with Westfield America's. Doing so would give Westfield America a combined portfolio of 80 regional malls, the third-largest in the United States.

Tampa, Fla.Equity Investment Group acquired Brandon Boulevard Shoppes, an 85,377-sq.-ft. community center in Tampa, from Miami-based Lennar Partners. The center includes two outparcels and more than six acres of land for development.

Brandon Boulevard Shoppes is anchored by Publix, Blockbuster and, located on a pad, McDonald's. Equity Investment Group, a privately held REIT, will provide leasing and management for the property.

Financing awards

Blaine, Minn. — Columbus, Ohio-based Glimcher Realty Trust announced that its operating partnership, Glimcher Properties LP, completed the refinancing of a maturing $40 million mortgage secured by Northtown Mall in Blaine.

The new debt consists of an interest-only, $40 million mortgage with an initial maturity of Aug. 31, 2003. Glimcher Properties has the right to extend the maturity for an additional year providing it complies with certain conditions at the time the extension is requested. The loan bears interest at the rate of LIBOR plus 350 basis points, which results in an initial interest rate of 7.08%. The proceeds were used to repay a maturing $40 million mortgage on the property that bore interest at a fixed rate of 7.01%.

Management contracts

Burlington, Vt. — King of Prussia, Pa.-based Kravco Co. recently won the management and leasing contract for Burlington Town Center, a 400,000-sq.-ft. shopping center in downtown Burlington.

The mall is located on the Church Street Marketplace near Lake Champlain and Burlington's historic waterfront. Anchors include Victoria's Secret, American Eagle Outfitters, Gap, Limited Too and Finish Line Sports. It is also home to the region's newest Filene's department store. A $50 million renovation of the mall began in January 2001 and is nearing completion.

Other transactions

Williamsburg, Va.Scott Thomas Construction won contracts to build or remodel nine Chico's locations on the East Coast. The retailer's stores feature hardwood flooring and stainless steel accents.

MinneapolisChainLinks Retail Advisors, the Washington, D.C.-based real estate services provider, recently selected locally based United Properties as the ChainLinks representative for the state of Minnesota. The move expands ChainLinks capabilities and presence in the upper Midwest.

ChainLinks, which specializes in tenant representation, property management, project leasing, and related services, has locally owned offices throughout the United States and Canada. United Properties represents retailers such as Gap/Old Navy, Chipotle, Famous Footwear and Office Depot. It offers a full complement of retail expertise.