AEW Capital Management and M&J Wilkow Form Joint Venture To Recapitalize Arlington Highlands Shopping Center

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 recapitalized, assumed the existing debt and formed a new partnership to own one of the Dallas area's largest and most prominent shopping centers, Arlington Highlands.  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 new joint venture also includes two of the existing partners, The Retail Connection and Cheney Mathes, Ltd., as minority stakeholders in the current ownership, however, AEW/Wilkow are the majority stakeholders.  The Retail Connection's will continue to provide leasing services.  Arlington Highlands, which was completed in 2007 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 us 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, 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 Flag Over Texas. The center has superb regional accessibility and visibility and an average daily traffic count of over 200,000 vehicles.