Marcus Investments raises $18 million

Company to acquire more retail power centers

Grafton Commons

Milwaukee-based Marcus Investments plans to acquire more retail shopping centers after its real estate fund raised $18 million, according to an SEC filing.

Marcus Investments’ real estate division, Berengaria Development, actively invests in Midwestern multi-tenant retail shopping centers, known as retail “power centers.” Grafton Commons, which Berengaria purchased for $33.5 million in 2018, is the only local power center the firm owns.

Over the next 12 to 18 months, Berengaria plans to acquire 5 to 7 assets similar in size and quality to Grafton Commons and other retail centers in its portfolio, said Jay Peirick, president of Berengaria.

“We’re kind of in the final stages of our equity raise, which during a pandemic has made it challenging,” Peirick said. “But we also believe the thesis of us buying those regional power centers is strengthened because of the pandemic.”

With the retail industry under duress even before COVID-19, Peirick believes the pandemic has served as a catalyst for the reorganization of the industry, making the coming months a critical time for retail.

“Those that were struggling before COVID are still struggling during and will still struggle afterwards,” Peirick said. “This will kind of expedite their potential bankruptcy and reorganization.”

The Milwaukee-based Marcus family office’s Marcus RE Fund I LP raises between $20 million and $40 million with a cap of $80 million. The fund closes on July 31, 2020.
Funds are often contributed by family offices, consultants, wealth managers and institutions with a minimum investment of $250,000. To date, the family has invested, along with limited partners, over $125 million in this segment of the commercial real estate market, said Tim Anderson, Berengaria business development manager.

In addition to Wisconsin, Berengaria’s portfolio includes retail shopping centers in Montana, Ohio, and Indiana. The firm is also involved in a series of restaurant developments including Smokeshack in Milwaukee, Smokeshack, AJ Bombers and Holey Moley in Wauwatosa and Blue Bat Kitchen & Tequilaria in Milwaukee.

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