Preferred Apartment Communities, an Atlanta-based apartment company, said Monday it plans to acquire nine grocery-anchored shopping centers across the Southeast in a move designed to diversify its holdings.
The moves are also a precursor to Preferred’s plan to spin off the retail centers into a new real estate investment trust, the company said.
Preferred, founded by former Post Properties chief John Williams, said it has the nine centers under contract with a total purchase price of $125.2 million, plus certain transaction costs.
The properties include grocery-anchored developments in Atlanta, Columbus, Charleston, Miami, Orlando, Houston and Nashville. The centers have Publix, Kroger or Bi-Lo grocery stores.
In a news release, the company said it plans to build a separate entity, New Markets Properties, which will hold the shopping center investments. New Markets ultimately will be spun off into a publicly traded firm headed by longtime retail executive Joel Murphy, with Preferred retaining an ownership stake.