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AEW And M&J Wilkow Provide Joint Venture Equity For Arlington Highlands Shopping Center


BOSTON, MA –– A partnership led by AEW Capital Management (AEW), a global real estate investment management firm and M&J Wilkow, a full service real estate company based in Chicago, has provided joint venture equity, assumed the existing debt, and formed a new partnership with the existing owners, The Retail Connection and Cheney Mathes, who are minority stakeholders, to own Arlington Highlands. AEW and M&J Wilkow will be the majority stakeholders. One of the Dallas area’s largest and most prominent shopping centers, the 737,000-square-foot property is located at the northeast corner of Interstate 20 and Matlock Road in Arlington, Texas midway between Dallas and Fort Worth in the DFW Metroplex. AEW formed the joint venture on behalf of AEW Core Property Trust (U. S.), the firm’s open-end core real estate fund.

The Retail Connection’s Property Management Division, Connected Management Services, will continue to oversee property management and marketing, while TRC’s brokerage group will continue to provide leasing and advisory services.

Arlington Highlands, which was completed in 2007 by Dallas-based The Retail Connection, L.P. (TRC)| Connected Development Services and Cheney Mathes, Ltd., is today an award-winning, regional retail destination that serves the thriving South Arlington submarket of Dallas-Ft. Worth. The open-air shopping center is currently 95% leased and has a collection of prominent national and regional retailers including: Bed Bath & Beyond, PetSmart, The Container Store, Ann Taylor Loft, White House Black Market, P.F. Chang’s and Ethan Allen.

“We are pleased to be a major stakeholder and partner in this exceptional project, which has a diverse base of high-quality national tenants, a carefully crafted site plan, high-quality construction, and is a family-oriented center with a true sense of place,” said George Fryer, Director at AEW. “The recapitalization will allow the ownership to continue to enhance the existing shopping center and provide additional capital for future improvements,” he said.

“Arlington Highlands provides us with a rare opportunity to participate in a vitally important, regionally dominant shopping center in a top-four MSA at an excellent time within the economic and consumer cycle,” said Zoran Urosevic, Vice President, M&J Wilkow, Ltd. “In addition, the unmatched track record of tenant renewals demonstrates the ability to retain high-quality credit tenants. Arlington Highlands is very popular with national and regional retailers, and the tenant testimonials illustrate proof of consumer demand and the importance of this location.”

Arlington Highlands was the first major development by The Retail Connection | Connected Development Services in 2005, about a year after Steve Lieberman and Alan Shor launched the company.

“Our ability to collaborate with TRC's incredible clients was fundamental to the project’s development and this unique capacity quickly became the platform on which we have designed and developed our projects ever since. AH was the perfect endeavor to launch our development and asset management programs; and we are extremely proud of the extraordinary results our brokerage, marketing, development, asset, construction and property management teams continue to achieve here,” said David Wilson, President | Connected Development Services, The Retail Connection's development group.

The original land was owned by the Mathes family, whose roots in Arlington, Texas go back as far as the 1940s.

“Mathes Sr. bought the land with a developer's vision and an entrepreneur's foresight,” said Melinda Mathes, of Cheney Mathes Ltd. “So it is fitting that Arlington Highlands will carry forward Arlington's history and is the expression of a vision conceived more than a half-century ago. We are excited about AEW/Wilkow’s plans for additions and improvements which will benefit our local shoppers and visitors from the surrounding communities.”

Arlington, Texas has become increasingly more vital to DFW’s regional economy and has achieved national acclaim due to its status as a regional sports and entertainment hub with Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Rangers Ballpark at Arlington, and Six Flags Over Texas. The center has superb regional accessibility and visibility and an average daily traffic count of over 200,000 vehicles.

“The recapitalization of Arlington Highlands is a huge plus for everyone involved in this partnership,” said Eric Zimmermann, Managing Director of Eastdil Secured, the brokerage firm overseeing the recapitalization. “This is a rare project with the perfect elements to ensure a very productive property for the partners, retailers and consumers.”

About AEW
Founded in 1981, AEW Capital Management, L.P. (AEW) provides real estate investment management services to investors worldwide. One of the world’s leading real estate investment advisors, AEW and its affiliates manage over $33 billion of capital invested in $46.6 billion of property and securities in North America, Europe and Asia (as of September 30, 2012).

Grounded in research and experienced in the complexities of the real estate and capital markets, AEW actively manages portfolios in both the public and private property markets and across the risk/return spectrum. AEW and its affiliates have offices in Boston, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Hong Kong and Singapore, as well as additional offices in nine European cities. For more information please visit www.aew.com.

About M & J Wilkow
M & J Wilkow's approach to real estate emerged distinctively from an owner's perspective and has evolved over seventy years in the real estate business. It is based on the philosophy that value is first created and then enhanced by the implementation of a thoughtfully conceived strategic plan. The plan spells out a series of interrelated, value-driven objectives, as well as the means for achieving them. At the present time, the Company's portfolio consists of 32 properties, which breaks down between 12 office buildings and 20 retail properties consisting of approximately 5.8 million square feet. The aggregate market value of the portfolio is estimated to be in excess of $950,000,000.

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