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Constellation invests in retail venture


The Constellation Real Estate Group Inc. has purchased two loans secured by an Easton shopping center, the Columbia development firm's second new retail venture this year.

The Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. subsidiary is expected to eventually take control of the 130,000-square-foot Tred Avon Square shopping center when the $11 million mortgages mature in five years.

In the interim, Constellation will receive a 12 percent return on its investment, and assume responsibility for leasing and managing the 16-year-old center, currently 93 percent leased. Anchor stores include an Acme Supermarket, Peebles and Rite Aid.

Constellation, which acquired the loans from NationsBank N.A. for $4.3 million, also plans to add new tenants and expand existing stores, said Roger A. Waesche Jr., a Constellation senior vice president.

In March, Constellation bought a 50-acre site in Virginia for $5.5 million. The developer intends to construct a discount-oriented retail "power" center there. It has sold parcels to Target Stores Inc. and Best Products.

Constellation controls an estimated $400 million real estate portfolio.

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