After acquiring four Long Island shopping centers late last year, Regency Centers has purchased another.
The Jacksonville, Fla.-based real estate investment trust bought East Meadow Plaza, an 11.16-acre retail complex at 1900 Hempstead Turnpike for $30 million. The property has 132,332 square feet of retail space and a five-story, 72,816-square-foot office building. The retail portion is 64 percent occupied, while the office building is 51 percent occupied.
At the end of 2021, Regency purchased four Long Island shopping centers from Serota Properties for $130 million. Those included the 90,000-square-foot Wading River Commons on Route 25A in Wading River; the 99,000-square-foot King Kullen Shopping Center on West Merrick Road in Valley Stream; the 45,466-square-foot King Kullen-anchored center on Eastport Manor Road in Eastport; and the 140,000-square-foot Stew Leonard’s Plaza on Front Street in East Meadow, which borders the East Meadow Plaza property.
Regency plans to reposition East Meadow Plaza by connecting it to Stew Leonard’s Plaza. The new owner’s plans could include razing the existing office building, sources say.
Built in 1971, East Meadow Plaza was owned by the Weiss family, which runs Kurt Weiss Greenhouses, headquartered in Center Moriches. Wayne Weiss, a company vice president and fourth generation member of the business, said the East Meadow center was once a farm owned by his great grandfather Otto Muller that grew azaleas and other landscaping flora dating back more than 100 years.
When he was a child, Weiss lived in a farmhouse on the property, which briefly raised chickens during the 1940s to support the war effort. Besides their main location in Center Moriches, the family owns land in Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and about a half-dozen sites on Long Island, which have wholesale greenhouse operations that produce bedding plants, flowers and poinsettia for the Christmas season.
Besides its most recent acquisitions, Regency already owned several Long Island retail properties, including the 104,616-square-foot center called The Point at Garden City Park; the 141,382-square-foot Lake Grove Commons; the 312,316-square-foot Gallery at Westbury Plaza; and the 52,729-square-foot Hewlett Crossing. The REIT owns more than 400 retail properties totaling more than 58 million square feet in 24 states and Washington D.C.
The East Meadow Plaza sale was brokered by Kyle Burkhardt, Patrick Ciancimino, Dan Abbondandolo, Joegy Raju and Victor Little of Cushman & Wakefield, who represented seller 1900 Hempstead Tpke LLC.
“Thanks to our well executed marketing campaign and bid process, we were able to identify the most secure buyer in a very fickle market,” Abbondandolo said. “Regardless of volatile debt markets and rising inflation rates, the asset’s location and reposition potential made this a very accretive acquisition for Regency.”