Charlotte Investor Buys Pinecrest Plaza
Shoffner Allison was in elementary school when the Pinecrest Plaza shopping center opened in 1987.
"My only memory is going to Walmart to buy fishing lures with my dad," said Allison, founder and principal of the Charlotte-based real estate investor Hawthorne Retail Partners.
Last Thursday, Hawthorne reeled in the 280,000-square-foot center at the intersection of U.S. 15-501 and Morganton Road in Southern Pines by purchasing it from Weingarten Realty for $22.25 million.
"We think the location is a market-dominate location," Allison said. "The center is 99 percent leased. The tenants do very well at that property. We anticipate this will be a long-term investment."
Patrick Coughlin, president and CEO of the Moore County Chamber of Commerce, said he was initially surprised by the acquisition.
"I hadn't heard that Weingarten was trying to sell the property," Coughlin said. "But now that I've had some time to digest it, I'm not so surprised because there's a lot of jockeying right now in the retail development industry.
"What may be a mediocre performer for one developer may be a stellar performer for another."
Pinecrest Plaza is anchored by two Belk stores, and other major tenants include Burke's Outlet, Books-A-Million, Michael's and a Food Lion.
Hawthorne operates and invests in shopping centers in the Southeast on behalf of third-party clients, institutional investors and private investment groups.
The partners seek to acquire centers that are selling at a discount to current market value, anticipated future market value, or replacement cost.
"Our specialty is renovating properties and increasing their value," Allison said.
Hawthorne plans to enhance the parking lot, facade and landscaping at Pinecrest Plaza.
"They're cosmetic enhancements," Allison said. "Our goal is to get it all done by May or June next year."
Coughlin said he was thrilled about the "much-needed face-lift."
"It seems to me the parking area could be a little more aesthetically pleasing," he said. "The facades are somewhat dated, so I'm glad they're investing in that as well."
Coughlin added that the traffic along 15-501 and Morganton should ensure the long-term viability of Pinecrest Plaza.
"Tenants love that location because of the traffic," he said. "There has been some turnover over the years, but the space never seems to stay vacant very long."
Pinecrest Plaza was the third shopping center acquisition by Hawthorne in the third quarter of 2012 for a total purchase value of $40 million. Hawthorne is seeking to acquire $200 million worth of shopping centers in the Southeast over the next few years.
Allison, whose parents still live in Moore County, typically returns every couple of months.
"It will be a lot more often now that we own this property," he said.
Contact Ted Natt at (910) 693-2474 or email@example.com.
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