6-6-2015: TRC Has Sold Willowbrook Plaza in Houston, Texas

The Retail Connection and Long Wharf Real Estate Partners Announces it has Sold Willowbrook Plaza in Houston, Texas

The Retail Connection, L.P., and Long Wharf Real Estate Partners have sold Willowbrook Plaza located in Northwest Houston at the intersection of Hwy. 249 and FM 1960, [approximately 22 miles from Houston’s CBD]. The center was originally purchased from CBL Properties in 2012 and has undergone a major remerchandising, including significant capital improvements.

“We are thrilled to have sold our first high profile retail shopping center in Houston, Texas,” said Stephen J. Hefner, President of The Retail Connection’s Connected Acquisition Services. “Willowbrook Plaza is in a great retail location, and with the significant renovations and remerchandising we executed, the center became a great investment as well as a premium shopping center to the surrounding community,” he stated.

Upon purchase in 2012, Willowbrook Plaza was 73% occupied with a tenant lineup that included AMC Theaters, Finger Furniture, Sprint, Mattress Firm, Buffalo Wild Wings, Saltgrass Steakhouse, Scottrade, and more. It was constructed by Lincoln Property Company in 1999 on 41 acres, and is located directly across from the super-regional Willowbrook Mall. The Retail Connection repositioned the asset by leasing new space to Bed Bath & Beyond, buy buy Baby and Cost Plus World Market, along with other high impact retailers Dollar Tree, DXL, and Five Below. Additionally, the partnership made major capital improvements such as high profile signage, restructuring of buildings, egress and ingress easement and updated landscaping to the overall property. With these combined efforts, the center now boasts an occupancy of 89%.

“We are pleased with the outcome of our investment, leasing and remerchandising as well as the project improvements we made over the past two years,” said Philip Murphy, Director of Long Wharf Real Estate Partners. “With the collective capital strengths of The Retail Connection and Long Wharf RE Partners, we have been able to deliver an impressive return on our investment, as well as a first class shopping experience for our retail clients and the community,” Murphy stated.

Other individuals involved in the acquisition, leasing and management of the asset included Chad Bradshaw, VP Acquisitions; David Stukalin, President of The Retail Connection in Houston; Doug Nash, CFO; Jonathan Probst, SVP Brokerage; Carla Neel, SVP Management & Asset Services; Diana Chastain, Sr. Property Manager; Mark Fawks, SVP Construction Management; and Stephen Tou, SVP Brokerage for The Retail Connection.

About The Retail Connection
The Retail Connection provides brokerage, advisory, investment and management services through its four statewide offices.  TRC represents more than 275 retail and restaurant clients and over 25 million square feet of retail projects.  In addition to tenant and landlord representation, the company extends the reach of its clients’ expansion programs through its three investment divisions: Connected Development Services, Connected Acquisition Services and Connected Capital.  Focused exclusively on tenant-driven collaborations, TRC joint ventures have acquired, redeveloped and developed over five million square feet of shopping centers to date and has an equivalent amount of projects in its current pipeline.  The company is headquartered in Dallas, with offices in Austin, Houston and San Antonio.

About Long Wharf Real Estate Parnters
Long Wharf Real Estate Partners is a Boston-based private equity real estate manager established in 2011 following the spin-out of the Fidelity Real Estate Group from Fidelity Investments.  Comprised of 27 professionals, Long Wharf utilizes a broad-based value-added investment strategy, targeting opportunities in anarray of property sectors and markets across the U.S.  The group has been investing on behalf of institutional clients, including corporate and public pension funds, endowments, foundations and family offices, for over 17 years.