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JV acquires 220,000 s/f New Jersey shopping center

Aspen Real Estate and Devli Real Estate, in a Joint Venture, have acquired a 220,000 s/f shopping center in Freehold, NJ from the CMBS bond holder group that had foreclosed on the property a year ago.  

This is Aspen and Devli’s third transaction together and the second foreclosure property the JV has purchased.  Prior to this, the JV purchased two office complexes totaling over 300,000 s/f. 

Details of the purchase were not disclosed, but the partnership said the property was purchased “at a fraction of its stabilized value,” as a result of the COVID crisis an ongoing retail market disruption.

The shopping center, located at 3651 Route 9 in Freehold, NJ, is comprised of four buildings and is situated on 25.58 acres of land. It is currently 71 percent leased and anchored by Burlington who recently extended their lease.

The JV plans to modernize the center, which had been neglected for years by prior ownership.

Aspen Principal, Phil Proetto, commented, “We are very excited to acquire a well located shopping center at a low price per square foot.

“We will have immediate cash flow as well as the opportunity to add value through leasing of vacant space and renovation of the center. We are already in late stage discussions with two national tenants to take additional space. We are planning a new façade that we believe will result in a fully leased shopping center.”

Devli’s Chief Operating Officer, Christopher Devli, noted that the acquisition was one of the more challenging ones due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There were many obstacles in getting this deal to the finish line due to the pandemic but I’m proud of our team’s execution. The onset of COVID-19 combined with the state of the retail environment allowed us to purchase this property at a fraction of its stabilized value.”

Kathleen Pless of Bogota Savings Bank financed the acquisition and Jacklene Chesler and Matthew Brown of Colliers International brokered the deal.

Aspen Real Estate recently created their first a Value Add Investment Fund to take advantage of the buying opportunity the Covid crisis presents.  The Freehold Center is the first purchase of the Fund, which is still open to new investors.

The JV is actively working on other investments to add to their portfolio.

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