Kite Realty to pay $307M for 9 retail properties

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Kite Realty Group Trust said Wednesday that it has agreed to purchase a portfolio of nine Southern retail properties for about $307 million in cash, bumping its portfolio by about 20 percent in size and value.

The Indianapolis-based real estate investment trust said the properties total 2 million square feet and are mostly located in the company’s existing markets of Florida, Georgia and Texas, as well as in Birmingham, Ala.

As of Sept. 30, the portfolio to be acquired was 92.3-percent leased, Kite said. A spokesman said it would be the company’s largest acquisition since going public in 2004. The company did not reveal the seller of the portfolio.

“These properties will complement those in our existing portfolio and provide us with an opportunity to strategically increase our footprint in our targeted markets,” Kite Chairman and CEO John A. Kite said in a prepared statement. “We believe there are significant value-creation opportunities through the lease-up of vacant space, rollover of below-market rents and the pursuit of redevelopment opportunities.”

Many of the properties are anchored by supermarket chains such as Fresh Market, Publix and Winn Dixie, Kite said.

Kite currently owns interests in 62 properties totaling 9.5 million square feet with a value of $1.5 billion. The company also has three properties under development totaling 1.2 million square feet.

Company shares fell 38 cents, to $6.23 each, during mid-morning trading.

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