Smart Growth for Vernon, CT
Tri-City sold
Owner almost gets full asking price for shopping center close to I-84

By Howard French
Journal Inquirer
September 25, 2006

Journal Inquirer
The Vernon Price Chopper supermarket opened in December 2004. It anchors Tri-City Plaza.

The sale of Vernon's premier shopping center, Tri-City Plaza, has been completed, and the new owner is a partnership known as DLC Management Corp., according to a sales announcement over the weekend from the real estate company handling the sale, Boston-based Jones Lang LaSalle.

The partnership paid $48.3 million for Tri-City Plaza, which was placed on the market in January with an asking price of $51.1 million by West Hartford developer Max Javit. Javit built the 300,038-square-foot strip shopping center in 1963, and had owned it ever since. Javit could not be reached today for immediate comment.

DLC, of Tarrytown, N.Y., also owns small- to medium-sized Connecticut shopping centers in Hartford, Orange, Hamden, and Torrington. Formed in 1991, DLC bills itself as "one of the nation's preeminent owners, operators, and managers of shopping centers." A privately held company, DLC "takes a long-term approach to managing shopping centers, seeking to create and deliver extraordinary value by fostering strategic relationships with our tenants, communities, partners, and investors," according to its Web site.

"DLC focuses on grocery-anchored neighborhood and community shopping centers generating strong, repeat consumer traffic. Our centers are concentrated in the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, and Mid-Atlantic, with a special emphasis on urban core and infill locations," the company Web site claims.

The shopping center is dominated by a 99,000-square-foot supermarket, a Price Chopper, which is one of the largest supermarkets ever to be built by the New York-based chain.

The property was 93 percent leased at the time of sale, according to James Koury, Jones Lang LaSalle's senior vice president and national director of retail investment sales. Other tenants include Staples, TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, Papa Gino's, Lenscrafters, GNC, Dollar Tree, and Denny's.

In a statement over the weekend, Koury said that Tri-City Plaza benefited from its location near, and high visibility from, Interstate 84. Also in its favor, Koury said, are demographics that include average annual household income of more than $75,000 in the shopping center's marketing area.

"The center also benefits from the draw created by almost 3 million square feet of retail tenants in the adjacent Buckland Hills Mall area without subjecting its customers to all the traffic," Koury said, referring to Manchester's Buckland Hills mall area, and the newer Shops at Evergreen Walk outdoor shopping center in South Windsor.

Tri-City Plaza has been a Vernon retail landmark for more than 40 years, and has been a staple shopping center for the town at the busy intersection of routes 83 and 30, just off Interstate 84.

Tri-City in 2004 added the Price Chopper market.

The plaza, operated through Javit's Javit Asset Partners, also added an expanded outlet of the Massachusetts-based TJX Companies Inc. to the plaza in 2005, occupying the former Adams Super Food Store, at the south end of the plaza.

TJX already operated a TJ Maxx store next to the former Adams grocery store, which closed in 2003. The expanded store combined the existing TJ Maxx with a HomeGoods outlet. The plaza sits on 24.1 acres and is consistently at the top of the town's list of taxpayers, routinely enriching town coffers by about $600,000 per year.

Source: Spaulding & Slye Jason Zahner / Journal Inquirer