Schnucks is selling the majority interest of 33 shopping centers it owns in St. Louis, Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee for approximately $400 million.
DESCO, the real estate development company owned by the Schnuck family, will retain a 27 percent ownership stake in the property portfolio. DESCO will also continue to manage and lease the properties once the sale is complete in the third quarter, said DESCO President Mark Schnuck.
“This is a real estate transaction and has no impact on the supermarkets,” Schnuck said. “The sale of an interest in a portion of our centers will add resources to DESCO’s already strong position in real estate development. We are selling 2.8 million square feet, but we have 3.3 million square feet under development in our pipeline today, as well as 3.2 million square feet of property that we are retaining.”
Macquarie CountryWide Trust (MCW) is buying a 60 percent stake in the portfolio. MCW is managed by a division of Macquarie Bank Group, based in Sydney, Australia. Macquarie Bank Group’s real estate division manages a portfolio of assets totaling more than $23 billion globally. In a joint venture with MCW, Jacksonville, Fla.-based Regency Centers Corp. is buying a 13 percent stake in the portfolio.
Schnucks spokesperson Lori Willis said the sale puts the chain in line with most of its grocery stores across the country, where it rents space in shopping centers rather than owns the property. Schnuck Markets operates 101 stores and 98 pharmacies in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Tennessee and Mississippi. Five of its grocery stores are run under the Logli store name.
“That’s the situation that exists for most of our stores,” Willis said. “There will be no effect on Schnuck Markets, our associates or customers.”