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Tedeschi sells 25 shopping centers for $377 million

Family will keep running stores after record deal

Tedeschi Realty Corp. of Rockland yesterday sold 25 shopping centers, most in Greater Boston, to a Colorado company for $377 million, in the largest transaction of its type in Massachusetts history.

The Tedeschi family will continue to operate and franchise 200 convenience stores in the area, but it packaged and sold its strip retail centers, taking advantage of the enormous run-up in the values of commercial property.

The buyer is Dividend Capital Total Realty Trust, based in Denver. Tedeschi Realty was represented by the real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle.

"The shopping center strip came into its own in the 1950s, and this is the strongest pricing we've seen generated historically," said James M. Khoury, managing director of Jones Lang LaSalle, who has specialized in the sale of retail property since the 1980s.

Tedeschi Realty closed on the sale of 22 of the 25 properties yesterday, and three more sales will be completed soon, the company said.

The portfolio includes shopping centers primarily located in Southeastern Massachusetts, between Braintree and Orleans on Cape Cod. Among those being sold are Tedeschi Plaza in Braintree, Kingsbury Square in Kingston, Skaket Corners Plaza in Orleans, and Cranberry Plaza in Wareham.

Other locations include Weymouth, New Bedford, Rockland, Hyannis, Harwich, Brockton, Cranston, R.I., and Meriden, Conn.

"The timing was great," said Terrence Tedeschi, president of Tedeschi Realty and son of the founder of the food and real estate company. "Interest rates have been low; valuations have been very high; and the portfolio was in good shape."

The majority of the centers sold are anchored by a supermarket, in most cases Super Stop & Shop, but also Shaw's in some.

Ralph Tedeschi started the company in 1946, opening seven Tedeschi Supermarkets, then sold to Stop & Shop in 1961. A couple of years later, he and other family members founded Angelo's Supermarkets in Plymouth and Barnstable counties, growing the chain to 18, and selling them in 1986.

The company bought a chain of convenience stores in 1972, turned them into Tedeschi Shops, and after buying L'il Peach and Store 24 shops grew to own about 200 stores.

Tedeschi Realty is selling almost all of the shopping center properties, but another division of the family company will continue to operate the convenience stores. "Nothing relating to the food business has been sold or is for sale," said Terry Tedeschi.

About 10 members of the Tedeschi family are still involved in running aspects of the real estate or food businesses. Tedeschi, 48, who has been president of the realty company for nine years, said he would take some time off and then "get back into it in a couple of years."

Dividend Capital is a private real estate investment trust that, before this transaction, had about 10 million square feet of office, retail, and industrial property in 18 states.

Thomas C. Palmer Jr. can be reached at tpalmer@globe.com.

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