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The University Palms Shopping Center near Oviedo was one of seven grocery-anchored shopping centers sold this month in the liquidation of the $1.25 billion Hines Real Estate Investment Trust.

Hines sold the 99,1272-square-foot, Publix-anchored shopping center to Preferred Apartment Communities for $22.26 million, according to a deed recorded Monday in Seminole County. The Maryland-based PAC obtained a mortgage on the property for $13.6 million from National Life Insurance of Ohio.

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Six other grocery-anchored shopping centers in Florida, Texas, Georgia and North Carolina were purchased as part of the deal, including the Shoppes at Parkland near Boca Raton, anchored by BJ's Wholesale Club. The Sandy Plains Exchange, one of three centers in the Atlanta area that were purchased in the transaction, is also anchored by a Publix.

The seven shopping centers brought an aggregate purchase price of about $158 million, according to statements issued by PAC. The company bought the centers through its wholly-owned subsidiary, New Market Properties LLC.

Officials with PAC could not be reached for comment Friday. The company was initially formed to acquire and operate multifamily properties in targeted U.S. markets.

It now owns 30 grocery-anchored centers across seven states, the result of a refocused strategy favoring well-positioned, grocery-anchored centers in suburban Sunbelt markets.

University Palms Shopping Center, located on Alafaya Trail at McCulloch Road, consists of three buildings constructed in 1993/94. Weingarten Realty Investors bought the property in 2003 for $12.25 million.

In a deed recorded in November 2008, Hines acquired the shopping center for $100. The acquisition resulted from a joint venture between the REIT and Weingarten Realty. Hines paid $271 million for a 70 percent interest in Weingarten's portfolio of 12 high-volume shopping centers.

The Hines REIT board of directors voted in June to approve a plan for liquidation of the company. In addition to the sale of the seven shopping centers, Hines sold seven West Coast office buildings for $1.162 billion to Blackstone Real Estate Partners VIII.

The REIT was closed to new investors in 2009 due to the recession. The company said it decided to liquidate in order to take advantage of the current strong demand for high-quality assets by institutional buyers.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at msalinero@outlook.com. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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