First quarter sales totaled $13.1 million and 244,723 square feet. These transactions were primarily smallish neighborhood and strip centers with the exception of Mayfair Village. Mercer Street Holdings ONE, LLC had originally purchased the loan on the property and acquired direct ownership in November 2018 by foreclosure. After acquiring, they sold off two pad sites, CVS & Aldi, then packaged the remaining property to sell to a developer for repositioning. Mayfair Village has a long and storied history in northwest Oklahoma City, sitting at the south end of the city's original shopping corridor along May Avenue. The Buyer intends to re-model and improve the center.
The real question going forward is what the current coronavirus shutdown will do to the market. Mayfair was the last of these transactions to close, on March 12th, just before governments shut everything down. Needless to say, the last few weeks have had everyone on their heels trying to adjust to sheltering in place and numerous retail closures. So far, deals that were in the final stages appear to be moving forward. A number of smaller developers, particularly for pad sites and strip centers, appear to still be actively looking for property. There remains money in the market. We anticipate that investment sales activity will slow but not stop. A number of investors are putting together funds to take advantage of an expected influx of distressed property. The duration of the lockdown will determine just how much distressed retail there will be. Our guess, if the market slowly opens back up after May, then the damage will be limited and the market will recover fairly soon. If the economy is shut down through the summer, there will be significant fallout from retailers and investors.
April 9th, 2020