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These Investors Don't Care About Oil Prices

While office deals have practically screeched to a halt from the weakened energy market, retail isn’t feeling any pain. JLL’s retail investment sales team has already sold six properties this year and tells us investors are flocking to retail properties, deals are closing quickly, and no one’s even asking about oil prices.

Most recently, VP Wendy Vandeventer, managing director George Cushing and analyst Meaghan Gallacher helped The Retail Connection sell Willowbrook Plaza. Wendy tells us there haven’t been many large retail centers for sale recently, so this 385k SF drew a lot of attention and 10 offers. (It was also a blisteringly fast retail sale—97 days from initial listing to closing.) The JLL team had originally sold the center to The Retail Connection in December 2012; at the time, it was in need of repositioning, George tells us. He says that firm did a great job of converting a struggling center to Class-A, and the new buyer will complete the repositioning process.

George, Wendy and Meaghan also recently sold Royal Oaks Centre (pictured). It’s a smaller property, 21k SF, but George says its great lineup of national credit tenants and Westheimer location drew institutional interest. It closed to a Dallas-based PE fund. Besides the six closed deals (including Mariners Village and Cypress Village), the trio has four properties under contract.

Next week, JLL’s retail investment sales team will list the Shops at Bella Terra, pictured here. The trio expects it to be a bellwether deal for power centers. It’s right up against Cinco Ranch, a wonderfully strong retail corridor; is 100% occupied; and is another rare large investment opportunity (283k SF). It’s another “repeat deal” for George, Wendy and Meaghan—they had previously sold it to seller Dunhill. Adam Howells and Jace Hinderland from JLL's Dallas office are partnering on the listing, and Wendy expects another quick marketing process, probably less than a month.