By Patrick Phillips|February 17, 2020 at 4:19 PM EST - Updated February 17 at 4:19 PM
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - A Baltimore-based real estate investment and management company has purchased Mount Pleasant Towne Center for approximately $147 million.
Continental Realty Corporation purchased the 510,000-square-foot open-air regional shopping venue, making it the sixth retail property and eighth asset overall purchased by the Continental Realty Fund, a $210.8 million private equity fund focused on retail and multifamily properties in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the country, according to spokesperson Larry Lichtenauer.
“This represented an excellent opportunity to acquire an institutional-quality lifestyle center within a very high barrier-to-entry market that serves one of Coastal Carolina’s most affluent and fastest growing residential populations,” CRC Senior Vice President of Operations David Donato said. “Over the past two decades, the population the town of Mount Pleasant has doubled, and has historically grown at a rate faster than cities such as Atlanta, Austin, Denver, and Seattle."
It is also the largest in the more than 60-year history of CRC in terms of purchase price and becomes the second retail asset owned by the company in South Carolina, he said.
The facility features anchor tenants Belk, Regal Cinemas, Bed Bath & Beyond, Barnes & Noble, Arhaus Furniture and Old Navy and is 96.4% leased at the time of the purchase. It also includes national retailers Peloton, Lululemon, Bluemercury, Athleta Ulta, Southern Tide, Francesca’s, Ann Taylor Loft and Bath & Body Works; and local retailers and restaurants like Savi Cucina, Copper Penny, Palmetto Moon, Lizard Thicket, Reed’s Jewelers and Hustle Smoothie Bar.
“Mount Pleasant Towne Centre is the dominant open-air retail center in the Charleston market and sits on more than 51 acres with over half a mile of frontage along US Highway 17," Donato said. "It is highly unlikely a property similar in nature will ever be built again in this submarket."
Donato said there has been “strong leasing momentum” with several new tenants they are close to signing.
Nearly 65,000 vehicles pass the center on a daily basis and more than 42,000 consumers, with an average household income approaching $125,000, reside within a three-mile radius of Mount Pleasant Towne Centre, Lichtenauer said.
Recognized as the fourth-largest municipality in South Carolina, the median income for households in Mt. Pleasant is expected to increase by 12% over the next 12 years to more than $105,000, which is 60% higher than the Charleston Metropolitican Statistical Area median. The residential population has expanded by 54% since 2000 and future growth is projected to significantly outpace the national average.
“Measured by any metric, Mount Pleasant Towne Centre is an irreplaceable real estate property that represents the ideal high-value asset we seek for our investors,” Continental Realty Corporation CEO JM Schapiro said. “Based on our ownership of the nearby West Ashley Shoppes, our team is extremely familiar with the Charleston real estate marketplace and we have established deep relationships in the regional business and brokerage communities. In this instance we worked with The Beach Company, headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina, who are also an investor in the acquisition of Mount Pleasant Towne Centre. CRC and The Beach Company have had a close working relationship for over a decade."
“We are excited to be working with CRC on this once in a lifetime acquisition. The Beach Company stands ready to offer our services to ensure that Mount Pleasant Towne Centre remains successful and a vibrant asset to the Mount Pleasant Community and Charleston Region,” Beach Company President and CEO John Darby said.
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