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Benchmark Group buys Walden Consumer Square for $28M

A Westchester County operator of open-air shopping centers has sold the Walden Consumer Square across from the Walden Galleria in Cheektowaga to Benchmark Group of Amherst for $28 million.

Benchmark, owned by Arthur and George Gellman and Clarke Narins, bought the plaza at 1700-1750 Walden Ave., from Walden Consumer Improvements LLC, owned by DLC Management Corp. of Tarrytown, according to Erie County Clerk records. The deal closed Thursday, and included the assumption of $20.38 million in debt held by KeyBank.

The purchase covers the entire 21.7-acre shopping center, including the Target store that anchors it as a separate parcel. The 255,964-square-foot shopping center plaza, which opened in 2002, has about 10 retailers. Other major tenants include Michaels, PetSmart, PriceRite Supermarket, Pier 1 Imports, Payless Shoes, Office Depot and a TGI Friday's restaurant.

DLC had purchased Walden Consumer Square in December 2014 – along with Union Consumer Square, Walden Place and 2015 Walden Avenue, plus Premier Place in Amherst and two plazas in Batavia – for $98.773 million. It was part of a larger $175 million transaction involving 11 properties in all in New York, Tennessee, North Carolina and Arkansas – the largest real estate transaction in DLC's history.

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