Cohen & Steers, Sterling scoop suburban retail center for $42M

Denton County asset sold for $203 per square foot

Cohen & Steers, Sterling buy DFW Retail Center for $42M
The Marketplace at Highland Village in North Texas with Sterling Organization's Brian Kosoy and Cohen & Steers' Jason A. Yablon (Cohen & Steers, Sterling Organization, Google Maps)

The Marketplace at Highland Village in Denton County has traded hands in a $42 million deal. 

A joint venture between Cohen & Steers Income Opportunities REIT and the Sterling Organization bought 207,000 square feet of the open-air shopping center, according to an SEC filing. That’s about $203 per square foot. 

Tax records indicate that SITE Centers is the previous owner. 

The Marketplace at Highland Village is anchored by an owner-occupied Walmart Supercenter. The venture’s portion of the center is 93 percent occupied; tenants include TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, LA Fitness, DSW and Petco. In 2022, the property was the most-visited shopping center within a 10-mile radius, per data from PlacerAI. 

It’s located at 3060 Justin Road in Highland Village, a Denton County community about 30 miles northwest of downtown Dallas. Highland Village has a population of 16,000; the median household income in the city is $163,000. While Highland Village has grown by less than 1 percent since 2020, nearby Lewisville grew by more than 22 percent in the same period. 

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Sterling is a West Palm Beach-based real estate investment firm with extensive experience in shopping centers. This acquisition is the first investment for the fund from New York-based investment manager Cohen & Steers.

Investors are increasingly turning to retail centers as safe investments amid increased turbulence for Texas’ office and multifamily markets. Open-air shopping centers have an occupancy rate of 96 percent, the highest level in 16 years, according to CoStar. 

There’s been almost no new supply built in the last decade. With construction costs still high, and availability at an all-time low, rents are also stronger than ever in the sector. 

At the end of the third quarter of 2023, retail vacancy stood at 3.2 percent in Austin; 3.9 percent in San Antonio; 4.7 percent in Dallas-Fort Worth; and 5.1 percent in Houston, according to Partners Real Estate.  

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