Edens & Avant and Samuels & Associates have finalized their purchase agreement for 36 Konover shopping centers in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New England.

Konover & Associates, based in Farmington, Conn., is selling the bulk of its existing retail centers and will focus its efforts on its construction business (Konover Construction Corp.) and on Konover Development Corp.'s pipeline of 30 potential development projects.

Samuels & Associates has responsibility for redeveloping, leasing and managing 17 of the jointly acquired centers. Edens & Avant, which currently operates 18 grocery-anchored Necessity Retail Centers in strategic markets in New England, will operate the remaining centers in the region acquired from Konover.

"The partnership of Edens & Avant and Samuels & Associates is well-positioned for this venture," said Jodie W. McLean, president and chief investment officer of Edens & Avant."In addition to allowing us to expand an already positive relationship between our two companies, we believe the venture provides an extraordinary opportunity for our retailers and shoppers in New England, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania."

"Based on our 20 years of history of successfully developing and managing grocery-anchored shopping centers throughout New England, joining forces on this acquisition with Edens & Avant is the next logical step in our growth," said Steve Samuels, president of Samuels & Associates. "The unique combination of our deep understanding of this marketplace with Edens & Avant's successful Necessity Retail center model is a formula for long-term success. Clearly, this positions our team as the leading acquirer and operator of stabilized and value-added retail assets in the Northeast."

Edens & Avant and Samuels & Associates expect individual property closings to begin at the end of September and conclude by January 2003.