Washington Square shopping center sold for $20 million

One of Washington Road’s largest commercial properties was acquired last month for $20 million – the latest in a string of multimillion-dollar investments on the busy thoroughfare in recent months.

 

The 28-acre Washington Square shopping center, whose tenants include 2nd &Charles, Stein Mart and Carrabba’s Italian Grill, was purchased by Atlanta-based WSQ LLC on Jan. 12, according to Richmond County property records.

The limited liability company is registered to Bret Block, a partner in the Atlanta law firm of Block &Fine. Phone and email messages to Block were not returned Monday or Tuesday.

The property’s former owner, Forum W.S. LLC, is a corporate affiliate of Atlanta-based Forum Management Group, a commercial real estate firm that also used to own the Publix-anchored North Augusta Plaza shopping center.

North Augusta Plaza is now owned by Canadian real estate company Slate Asset Management LP, the same company that acquired Augusta’s National Hills shopping center in November for $24.7 million.

Forum Management Partner Joe Healy said in an email Tuesday that both Washington Square and North Augusta Plaza “performed very well for us.”

“They were both long-term-held assets for us and we sold them when we received attractive offers,” Healy said.

The sale of the 200,000-square-foot Washington Square property at 2834 Washington Road is the most recent in a series of high-dollar acquisitions along the major commercial artery. Last month a Texas-based finance company purchased a nearby 1.2-acre tract, a parcel occupied by the Red Lobster restaurant at 2847 Washington Road, from a San Francisco-based private equity firm for $3.97 million, Richmond County property records show.

Last year, a limited liability company affiliated with the Augusta National Golf Club purchased the 1.75-acre Pep Boys property at 2728 Washington Road for nearly $7 million, and the three-quarter-acre Jay’s Music Center property at 2702 Washington Road for $5.3 million.

The outparcel at 2819 Washington Road, a just over half-acre property occupied by the World of Beer gastropub, is currently listed with a Virginia real estate company at $2.2 million. The Wells Fargo branch office property at 2835 Washington Road, a 1.5-acre parcel, is listed with a Los Angeles-based real estate broker for $2.3 million.

Approximately 38,000 cars per day pass through the Washington Road-Berckmans Road intersection, said Steve Collins, a partner in The Palomar Group, the Augusta-based commercial realty firm that brokered the nearly $25 million National Hills sale last fall.

“Washington Road is just a good retail corridor where people are going to continue to invest,” he said. “It’s a pretty desirable spot when you have the type of traffic you have there.”

Washington Square tenants were notified of the pending sale in October but have not received any information since.

A spokeswoman for Jacksonville, Fla.-based Stein Mart, the shopping center’s second-largest tenant, said the company’s lease is in effect through 2024.

“We haven’t received any information that would change the terms of our lease and have no plans to leave Augusta,” said Linda Tasseff, Stein Mart’s director of investor relations.

Reach Damon Cline at (706) 823-3352  or damon.cline@augustachronicle.com.

 

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