Porter Square Shopping Center has been sold off by Gravestar, one of nine sites in a $390M deal

Porter Square Shopping Center has been sold off by Gravestar, one of nine sites in a $390M deal

The Porter Square Shopping Center, owned by Gravestar since its formation in 1994, has been packaged with eight other properties and sold to TA Realty of Boston in a $390 million deal. TA Realty’s partner was Wilder, also of Boston, which operates retail properties from Maine to Florida and Illinois. Its closest property is the Arsenal Yards mall in Watertown.

The 175,687-square-foot Porter Square Shopping Center holds a Star Market and CVS and other retail, as well as a few chain eateries such as a Panera Bread and Halal Bros. – but also locally owned stalwarts Tags hardware and Porter Square Books.

Ruth Ryals, head of the Porter Square Neighbors Association, said the group was looking to find out more about the buyers and their plans for the shopping center. “We look forward to meeting the new owners and working with them to make the shopping center and Porter Square a better place to shop [and] meet up,” Ryals said.

The deal was announced Thursday on the website of the broker, Newmark, which said it totaled 729,437 square feet for “nine premier shopping centers” across Greater Boston and the Providence areas: In addition to Porter Square, those are Brookline Plaza, Norwood Plaza, Sudbury Plaza, Waltham Plaza, Wellesley Plaza, Auburndale Plaza in Newton, Horn Pond Plaza in Woburn and the Pontiac Avenue Plaza in Cranston, Rhode Island. All are anchored by grocery stores, Bisnow noted in a Thursday article.

“This portfolio represented a generational opportunity – the first-time offering of the highest-quality, privately owned collection of shopping centers in New England,” Newmark vice chairman Geoffrey Millerd said in a press release.

That leaves Gravestar with The Greenworks Building, a former rubber manufacturing plant and warehouse that is now 25,000 square feet of offices at 160 Second St., East Cambridge.

There were long vacancies in Porter Square Shopping Center storefronts in recent years, such as a Zoots dry cleaner that closed in February 2018 and was filled by a Soup Shack ramen joint in the summer of 2020. But the center is now full, with a Ben & Jerry’s set to open where an Emack & Bolio’s ice cream shop closed in August 2020.

The entire portfolio is 95 percent filled, Newmark said.

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