Buyer, seller agree to nix $114M deal for Lakeway shopping center



Highlights

The cash transaction would have netted Stratus about $50 million.

The shopping center, anchored by H-E-B, previously drew interest from multiple prospective buyers.

A Lakeway shopping center won’t be changing hands after all.

A $114 million purchase agreement for the Oaks at Lakeway, at 1900 S. RM 620, has been terminated by the buyer, Massachusetts-based TA Realty LLC, according to a securities filing by the seller, Austin-based developer Stratus Properties Inc.

The cash transaction, which would have netted Stratus about $50 million, turned out to be a tricky one for several reasons, Stratus president and CEO Beau Armstrong told the American-Statesman.

“Because the property remains under active development, the accounting and tax mechanics of a sale at this point proved to be very complicated and Stratus has released the earnest money back to TA Realty,” Armstrong said Monday. “The Oaks at Lakeway is a great asset, with excellent cash flow, and we may bring it back to the market at an appropriate time in the future.”

The 1-year-old, 236,739-square-foot shopping center, anchored by an upscale H-E-B grocery store, drew interest from multiple prospective buyers, yielding “several very compelling offers” when it was placed on the market, Armstrong said.

Aside from H-E-B, other tenants include Twin Liquors, MAD Greens, AT&T, Hat Creek Burgers and High Five, a family entertainment center.

Leasing activity has been brisk, Armstrong said. Recent openings include Torchy’s Tacos, Russell Art & Frame, Engel & Voelkers Real Estate and Spa 810.

The deal with TA Realty, which was expected to close by Dec. 15, had called for Stratus to make monthly rent payments to the buyer for any unleased space, according to a securities filing. That amount, initially, was expected to be about $132,445 per month, decreasing over time as more leases were signed.

The now-terminated sale agreement didn’t include 34.7 acres of undeveloped property behind the center. Plans for that land call for a hotel and residences, among other uses, Stratus has said.

In addition to Oaks at Lakeway, Stratus has several other projects in the works, including two more H-E-B-anchored shopping centers in Killeen and Magnolia, a community north of Houston.

An $80 million mixed-use development in Southwest Austin, announced by Stratus in May, will feature a 10-screen, dine-in movie theater, as well as shops and restaurants, a hotel and some offices.


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