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Younger Partners Platform's First Acquisition Is In The Tiny Town Of Heath

A new retail acquisition platform launched by Younger Partners mid-pandemic is betting on DFW's emerging suburban markets.

The Younger Partners Investments division purchased its first commercial real estate asset this month: a 78K SF grocery-anchored retail center in Heath known as Heath Town Center. 

Younger Partners Investments nabs its first retail asset, Heath Town Center, in Heath, Texas.

Anchored by a Tom Thumb grocery store, the shopping center at Farm-to-Market 549 and Laurence Drive embodies the type of high-quality, heavily trafficked retail asset in suburban and infill markets that Younger Partners Investments plans to target this year. 

"The focus of our platform for calendar 2021 will be grocery-anchored retail in strong neighborhoods," Younger Partners Investments Managing Director Micah Ashford told Bisnow. "Whether that is a growing neighborhood or an infill neighborhood, it is not [a strategy] based on value-add or distressed properties. We are buying low-risk, high-quality assets."

Ashford said her division is reviewing three other grocery-anchored assets as possible acquisition targets. 

The town of Heath has a population of just over 9,000. Hundreds of single-family homes are under development in the suburb, and the median household income was roughly $155K in 2019, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. 

Ashford said its location in a growing affluent suburb 20 miles east of Dallas makes Heath Town Center attractive as a long-term investment hold. 

"It's a very affluent bedroom community with barriers to entry already in place," Ashford said. "They have a master-planned community where the average starting price for a home is at $400K, and the homes are on a half-acre of land or more."

The local retail market also is isolated in Heath, making grocery-anchored retail an investment with plenty of upside potential, Ashford said. Heath is next to a lake south of Rockwall, which creates a natural water barrier between the suburb and East Dallas communities. 

"Once you cross that lake at night to go home, you are not crossing back over to Dallas to do anything," Ashford said.

"We are seeing 1,400 lots being developed in Heath right now, and I feel like grocery-anchored shopping centers are COVID-resilient. Our platform is going to be based on these unassailable assets."

Ashford and Younger Partners' Moody Younger and Kathy Permenter represented YPI during negotiations. JLL's Adam Howells represented the seller, Malouf Interests Inc. Financing was provided by Hamilton Realty Finance's Adam Megacci.