WEST WHITELAND >> A shopping center in the heart of Exton has changed hands.

Whiteland Towne Center, home to stores like Kohl’s and Hobby Lobby, was purchased by a joint venture of Gorman & Co. and Abrams Realty & Development. The seller, Equus Capital Partners, has a portfolio of about 17 million square-feet of office, retail, and industrial properties and nearly 8,000 apartment units across the United States.

The purchase price was not disclosed.

The principals of Gorman & Co., Jim Gorman and Chris Knauer, in a partnership with Jefferson Apartment Group, are also about to break ground on a 291-unit mid-rise luxury apartment complex called Parkview just a mile away from Whiteland Towne Center. It is one of several large multi-family projects under way in the area.

Gorman is founder and president of Oaklands Business Parks Inc, a commercial real estate development and management company established in 1985 with the development of nearby Oaklands Corporate Center, a 2-million-square-foot planned business community on 305-acres just west of Whiteland Towne Center.

“We are obviously bullish on Exton,” said Gorman. “Whiteland Towne Center represents an opportunity to reposition an asset we know well, in a great township with an increasing demand for more services. Abrams is the perfect partner to help us execute this.”

Built in 1988, Whiteland Towne Center sits across Route 100 from Exton Square Mall at routes 30 and 100. A new Whole Foods will open in 2018 at the mall’s entrance across from Whiteland Towne Center.

In addition to Kohl’s Department Store and Hobby Lobby, which opened in November 2016, the remaining shopping center is anchored by national retailers including Party City, Big Lots, Total Hockey, Famous Footwear and Petco. CVS is building a freestanding store on a newly created pad site within the center at the main entrance off of Route 100.

Equus was represented by CBRE in the sale of the 359,673-square-foot center, which was completed Sept. 28.

“The recent leasing activity along with Whiteland Towne Center’s current occupancy of 79 percent provided investors a value-add opportunity to take advantage of the evolving retail market in Exton in an attractive demographic market with average household incomes exceeding $126,000,” said CBRE’s Brad Nathanson.

Equus’ portfolio consists of office, multi-family, industrial, and retail properties located throughout the United States. The firm is headquartered in the Philadelphia area with regional offices in Chicago; Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; Boston; Atlanta; and Raleigh-Durham.

– To contact Business Writer Brian McCullough, call 610-235-2655 or send an email to bmccullough@21st-centurymedia.com.

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