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Before Coronavirus Hit, Canadian Firm Sold D.C.-Area Shopping Center For $35M

The Mitchellville Plaza shopping center in Prince George's County.

A Canadian investor that acquired and revamped a D.C.-area shopping center closed a deal to sell the property just before a crisis hit the retail industry. 

Slate Asset Management sold the Mitchellville Plaza shopping center in Prince George's County to J.C. Bar Properties in a $35M deal recorded March 2, county deed records show.

The 157K SF shopping center was built in 1991, according to data from Reonomy. At 12100 Central Ave. in Mitchellville, it sits at the intersection of MD 214 and MD 193, roughly 7 miles east of the D.C. border.

A Toronto-based firm with $6.5B in assets under management, Slate acquired the property in 2012 for $28.4M. It viewed the property as a value-add investment with the opportunity to improve the asset's tenant composition, according to investor materials

The owner in 2016 brought in Weis Markets as a new anchor tenant to replace Food Lion, which had an expiring lease. As of 2018, Slate had executed 39 leases, including new deals and renewals, and increased the property's net operating income by 17%, according to investor materials. The new deals included a ground lease for the construction of a Dunkin' Donuts on a pad site.

The property also includes a McDonald's, Popeyes, Subway, Pizza Hut, Sherwin-Williams, T-Mobile, Citibank, a Long & Foster real estate office, a MedStar Health facility and several additional retailers. CBRE's Michael Zacharia and Lance Marine manage the property's leasing. CBRE's Ryan Sciullo and and Bill Kent represented the seller in the deal. 

The entity that bought the asset, J.C. Bar Properties, is based in Pennsylvania and owned by Robert Gothier. It secured a $25M acquisition loan from Citi Real Estate Funding Inc., deed records show.

The sale closed three weeks before Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan ordered the closure of all nonessential businesses to stem the spread of the coronavirus. The pandemic has taken its toll on the retail industry in the D.C. region and across the country, with widespread closures and mass layoffs. Multiple retailers at the Mitchellville Plaza property appear to be temporarily closed, according to Google Maps, while some restaurants are serving takeout and delivery.