A hatful of Middle Tennessee shopping centers are set to change hands in the coming months as part of an agreement one industry publication calls a "turning point" for the embattled U.S. real estate industry.
Private-equity giant Blackstone has struck a deal to pay $9.4 billion for the U.S. retail portfolio and the management operations of Australia's Centro Properties Group. The deal encompasses almost 600 properties in 39 states totaling more than 29 million square feet.
Almost 1.3 million of those square feet are in the Nashville area. The centers are:
• Watson Glen Shopping Center and Williamson Square in Franklin, which have 265,000 and 330,000 square feet of space and are anchored by Kmart and Kroger stores, respectively.
• The 278,000-square-foot Oakwood Commons development on Lebanon Pike in Hermitage, which is anchored by a Publix store.
• The Shoppes at Hickory Hollow on Mount View Road, which has about 144,000 square feet of leasable space and is anchored by a Kroger location.
• Hazel Path Commons in Hendersonville, where Sears and Food Lion are the largest tenants. The center has 163,000 square feet.
• Georgetown Square on Murfreesboro's North West Broad Street. That property has about 104,000 square feet and also is anchored by a Kroger store.
As a group, the centers are about 92 percent occupied, according to documents on Centro's Web site. In all, Centro is selling 19 Tennessee properties as part of its deal with Blackstone, which Retail Traffic says is being viewed by industry players as a sign the market is turning the corner.
Through various other entities, Blackstone has been buying various types of real estate in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Late last year, it paid more than $18 million for a number of warehouses in La Vergne's Interchange City.