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Athens shopping center bought by Maryland firm

ATHENS — Athens Town Center on U.S. 72 has a new owner.

Phillips Edison & Co., a retail real estate owner, manager and developer, announced the purchase Friday.

Officials with the company did not immediately return calls.

The 209,124-square-foot shopping center is home to Peebles, Goody’s Family Clothing, Big Lots, Tractor Supply and Southern Family Market.

“Athens Town Center’s strong roster of national tenants combined with our hands-on leas-ing and property management will produce a very stable retail asset while providing the Athens community with a good, long-term shopping experience,” said Erick Koehler, acquisitions officer for Phillips Edison.

$13 million deal?

Phillips Edison did not divulge the purchase price.

In a listing that pre-dated the sale, the asking price for the shopping center — which was 90 percent occupied at the time of the sale — was $13 million.

Baltimore-based Phillips Edison owns and manages 206 neighborhood and community shopping centers totaling more than 24 million square feet in 34 states.

According to its Web site, Phillips Edison specializes in the acquisition and redevelopment of under-performing grocery-anchored shopping centers.

Southfield, Mich.-based Ramco-Gershenson Properties Trust had acquired the property in 1998.

The shopping center was home to Wal-Mart until 1996, when the Wal-Mart Supercen-ter opened at U.S. 72 and U.S. 31.

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