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New Town Village Center sells for $31.7 million

A large Illinois real estate firm closed Tuesday on an Owings Mills Shopping Center, paying nearly $31.7 million — about 40 percent more than when the property last sold three years ago.

Strong demand driven by low interest rates and limited mid-Atlantic supply helped boost the price for New Town Village Center, said Gil Neuman, managing director of Greysteel, a Bethesda brokerage, which announced the $269 per-square-foot deal.

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Seller Black Oak Associates, a Towson firm that purchased the roughly 117,592-square-foot shopping center in 2012 for $22.5 million, had planned to hold onto the property, but moved to sell when they saw the improved market, Neuman said.

About 10 firms were interested in the 9700 Groffs Mill Drive site, a mix of institutional and private investors, Neuman said. Buyer Inland Real Estate Group, headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., offered a top bid, tied with another offer, and good terms, he said. The firm and its affiliates own and manage more than 52.5 million square feet of commercial real estate in 49 states.

"They knew that there were multiple offers right behind them and they liked the deal so they moved aggressively," he said.

Since it acquired the property, Black Oak Associates added new stores and renewed leases of many tenants that were set to expire, leaving the Giant Food-anchored property about 98 percent leased, up from the lower 90s, he said.

Vacancy rates in the Baltimore region retail market were about 5.7 percent at the end of 2014, according to a research report by Colliers International.

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