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Stone House Square shopping center sold

November 25, 2008|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN -- Stone House Square -- one of Washington County's newest shopping centers -- was sold this month for $28.5 million.

North Carolina-based Faison Enterprises, which developed the shopping center over the last few years, sold it to The Oekos Group of Columbia, Md.

Of the center's 250,000 square feet, 115,000 are part of the transaction. A Weis Markets grocery store is included.

The center's largest anchor store, Lowe's Home Improvement, was not part of the deal. Lowe's owns the 135,000-square-foot building it uses, said Sid Roros, vice president of acquisitions and finance for The Oekos Group.

Oekos (pronounced "EE-kos") is a Greek word for building or home.

The shopping center is off Leitersburg Pike, at the northern edge of Hagerstown. Some of its other tenants are R. Bruce Carson Jewelers, Jerry's Subs & Pizza, Friendly's, Camillions and Moe's Southwest Grill.

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Roros said the center is 88 percent full.

The transaction occurred on Nov. 13, he said. It was recorded on the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation's Web site four days later.

This is the first time The Oekos Group, a real estate consortium with holdings mostly in Maryland, bought property in Hagerstown, but it tried at least once before.

Roros said the company was one of a few suitors for the Centre at Antietam Creek off Eastern Boulevard in Hagerstown -- which also includes a Weis Markets grocery store -- but wasn't chosen.

Washco Centre at Antietam Creek, a limited liability company connected to developer Manny Shaool, bought the shopping center for $11.9 million in 2004.

Roros said The Oekos Group likes that interstates 81 and 70 meet near Hagerstown and that the city isn't far from Frederick, Md., and Washington, D.C.

A private company, The Oekos Group tends to hold onto assets for years and not "flip" them, or sell them for a quick profit, he said.

Provident Bank in Baltimore provided financing for the transaction, Roros said.

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