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Christina Crossing shopping center sold for $25M+

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The Christina Crossing shopping center anchored by a ShopRite grocery store was recently traded between investment firms. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

WILMINGTON – Christina Crossing, the grocery-anchored shopping center that helped revitalize the South Market Street corridor in Wilmington, was recently sold for $25.8 million, according to county land records.

Located at 501 S. Walnut St., Christina Crossing was built by Buccini/Pollin Group and includes a 70,000-square-foot ShopRite grocery store that was one of the first full grocery stores to be built in city limits in as many years when it opened in 2008.

Cedar Realty Trust, a publicly traded real estate investment trust, acquired the shopping center in 2017 from BPG for about $27.9 million. Meaning it saw a sale-to-sale loss of about 8% on the investment, but it was a small part of a much larger deal for the New York City-based firm.

Christina Crossing was one of 33 grocery-anchored shopping centers that was sold as a portfolio to a joint venture by New York-based investment firms DRA Advisors LLC and KPR Centers for about $879 million in gross proceeds, including assumed debt. The Wilmington shopping center was the only Delaware property in that sale, but five others were located in Philadelphia.

The portfolio sale is the first step in CDR’s $291 million merger with Virginia-based Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust, another publicly-traded investment firm, that is anticipated to close this summer.

In taking over the Christina Crossing shopping center, the joint venture by DRA Advisors and KPR may put them in the heart of redevelopment efforts in so-called Riverfront East, an ambitious plan to redevelop and reimagine the South Market Street corridor. Led by the Riverfront Development Corporation, the plan will raze and develop a portion of the eastern bank of the Christina River over the next decade with aims to build a new commerce center for the city.

The third phase of that plan would address land between South Market Street and South Walnut Street. That would include an agreed-upon reimagining of the Christina Crossing shopping center, with a grocery store remaining for the long term, officials said last year.

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