Harris Teeter Competing grocers Harris Teeter and Publix upping the ante in Triangle neighborhood

TRIANGLE BUSINESS JOURNAL

Big changes are underway in the battle for grocery shoppers at the corners of Rogers and Forestville roads, next to the Heritage golf community in Wake Forest.

With the new Publix-anchored Shoppes at Heritage Village under construction across the street, the more established Heritage Station shopping center anchored by a recently-expanded Harris Teeter grocery store has been sold to a new investor.

An announcement Wednesday by Atlanta-based Preferred Apartment Communities Inc. (NYSE: APTS) that its retail subsidiary has acquired seven retail centers in four states included Heritage Station among the list.

The seller is a joint-venture partnership between two Texas investors, Hines REIT and Weingarten Realty (NYSE: WRI), which had paid $10.8 million in 2009 for the property. Terms of the sale of Heritage Station to PAC have not yet been disclosed.

The Wake Forest property is the first investment in North Carolina by New Market Properties LLC, the retail subsidiary of PAC.

The total portfolio purchase of the seven properties was valued at $158 million, or about $243 per square foot. It also included grocery-anchored centers in the suburbs of Atlanta, San Antonio and Orlando, plus Parkland, Florida. New Market Properties now owns 30 retail centers across seven states.

The nearly 73,000-square-foot Heritage Station retail center opened in 2004 and also includes a Wells Fargo bank branch and McDonald’s restaurant on the property.

The Harris Teeter anchoring the center is expanding to become one of the grocer’s larger stores with a 57,723-square-foot footprint, and it has plans to add a gas station on a vacant outparcel.

With the expansion, the center will be 100 percent occupied. CBRE’s National Retail Investment Group represented Hines REIT in the sale of the seven properties.

The Publix store at the Shoppes at Heritage Village is expected to open in 2016 and will likely be timed with the reopening of the adjacent new road bridge under construction on Rogers Road and impacting traffic in the area. Publix has not yet announced an opening date for the Wake Forest store.

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