Inland Real Estate Acquisitions Inc. has entered the New Jersey market, gobbling up six retail/mixed-use properties in the northern part of the state. Like other unlisted REITs that have been prolific buyers recently, Inland is aggressively acquiring retail properties throughout the nation — and this latest purchase suggests that the Oak Brook, Ill.-based REIT isn’t about to slow down.

The properties, for which Inland paid a total of $114.42 million, add up to more than 610,000 sq. ft. of gross leasable area. They were sold by Starwood Heller LLC.

"With this portfolio, we’ve added some of the top names in retail. These centers are an average of only about six years old, meaning they offer the latest designs the retailers have to offer," says Joe Cosenza, chairman of Inland Real Estate Acquisitions.

Of the six properties, five are retail centers and one is a mixed-use property that combines multifamily and retail uses. A seventh shopping center deal is expected to close in late June.

Bidding on the Starwood Heller properties attracted more than 30 bids from local and national investors, says the broker who represented the seller. "This tremendous response can be credited to the quality of the properties involved, including their strong anchor tenants, prime locations within the respective markets, and overall condition," says Andrew Merin of Cushman & Wakefield’s metro area Financial Services Group.

A wider trend — heavy demand for retail assets in New Jersey and elsewhere for that matter — was also responsible for the heated bidding process, according to Merin.

The largest single property that Starwood Heller sold in this deal was 440 Commons, a 163,000 sq. ft. retail center in Jersey City. The center is anchored by Home Depot, and has no vacancy. All of the remaining properties are 100% leased, according to Cushman & Wakefield.