[caption id="attachment_228964" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] First State Plaza was sold last month in one of the largest commercial retail sales of the year. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS[/caption]
STANTON – First State Plaza, the grocery store and movie theater-anchored shopping plaza off Newport Pike, was recently sold for $31.8 million, marking one of the largest retail sales of 2022, according to county land records.
[caption id="attachment_228965" align="alignleft" width="300"] The Cinemark Movies 10 theater has drawn patrons to First State Plaza for generations. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS[/caption]
The Dec. 7 deal came about a decade after Bernie Kenny, the chairman and founder of Wilmington-based Kenny Family ShopRites, acquired the shopping center where one of the family’s ShopRite stores is located. The new buyer is Parkway Gravel, the real estate investment arm of New Castle-based construction firm Greggo & Ferrara.Bernie’s son, Chris Kenny, said the sale was simply estate planning on behalf of his father.It did, however, exemplify the strength of northern Delaware retail assets that have continued to appreciate. Aside from only the $33.5 million deal for Newark Shopping Center in September, the 164,779-square-foot First State Plaza was the highest priced retail-based asset to trade hands last year.Kenny acquired First State Plaza in 2012 through his own limited liability company, FSSC, in a roughly $25 million deal with Regency Shopping Centers of Florida. The recent deal represents a sale-to-sale return of about 27% on the investment.In the decade of ownership under Kenny, the plaza has retained major anchors like his ShopRite as well as the Cinemark Movies 10 theater, a U.S. Post Office and Dollar Tree. It has also added new tenants like Hachi Asian Fusion and Sushi Bar and A to Z Insurance.
[caption id="attachment_217449" align="alignright" width="300"] Kenny Family officials and muralist Christian Kanienberg cut a ribbon on the 5,000-square-foot mural at the Stanton ShopRite. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS[/caption]
He also invested in renovations of the plaza and infrastructure upgrades, including the installation of a DART Transit bus shelter and a new traffic entrance.Meanwhile, the ShopRite in the plaza has undergone renovations since it was one of the first stores acquired by Kenny in 1995. In 2021, the family unveiled an enormous public mural on its wall facing West Newport Pike in celebration of the company’s 25th anniversary.In the December sale, Jim O’Hara Jr. of NAI Emory Hill represented FSSC while Jeff Shahan of SB Real Estate represented Parkway Gravel.