Fountain Park Shopping Center on Macon Road gets new owner, plans renovation

Fountain Park Shopping Center on Macon Road in Columbus has changed hands from one major real-estate company to another, with some renovation work on the drawing board.

Pikesville, Md.-based America’s Realty said Thursday it has bought the 107,105-square-foot center from Phillips Edison and Company, a firm with offices in Cincinnati, Salt Lake City, New York and Atlanta.

The purchase price was $4.95 million, with America’s Realty saying it completed the deal in partnership with ARCJ Capital.

Fountain Park Shopping Center is anchored by a Winn-Dixie supermarket and a Farmers Home Furniture store. The latter relocated last year from Midtown Shopping Center on Macon Road as that center was embarking on a major renovation. It filled the void left by the departure of T.J.Maxx, which moved to the renovated Cross Country Plaza, just across from Midtown Shopping Center.

Fountain Park is 89-percent leased, America’s Realty said, with the firm’s founder and owner Carl Verstandig, in a statement, saying he is “excited about our continued expansion of acquisitions in this market, this being our fifth center purchased in Georgia.”

The company said it plans to “redevelop” Fountain Park, putting money into improving the center “to make it more attractive to shoppers and tenants.” The center includes two outparcel buildings.

Aside from the anchors, current tenants include Dollar Tree, Gallery Wedding, China Cafe, Golden Beauty, Q Nails and Veri Best Donut.

Verstandig launched America’s Realty nearly 30 years ago, referring to it as a “blue collar shopping center acquisition firm.” It has grown to a real-estate portfolio valued at $1.2 billion, the company says, with an emphasis on properties filled with discount-oriented retailers. It made its first mall purchase last year, paying $27 million for 527,000-square-foot Iverson Mall in Prince George’s County in Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C.

Phillips Edison and Company, founded in 1991, focuses on supermarket-anchored neighborhood and community shopping centers, using a real-estate investment trust to make purchases. Its website says it now has shopping centers for sale across the country. It has a heavy presence in the Atlanta market.