The Augusta National Golf Club has acquired the National Hills shopping center for $26 million, making it the club’s priciest single real estate purchase to date.
The April 13 purchase of the shopping center – which sits across Washington Road from the club’s northwest boundary – was preceded by the March 27 acquisition of five former home tracts in the Jamestown neighborhood on the club’s southwest side for $2.2 million.
Public records of both sales were not made available by Richmond County until this week.
The 169,000-square-foot National Hills retail center is anchored by The Fresh Market and the Electrolux customer service center. It was acquired from an affiliate of Canadian real estate firm Slate Asset Management LP, which purchased the property in 2017 for $24.7 million.
The Augusta National has historically declined to comment on its business operations.
Both purchases were made through club-affiliated corporations; the shopping center was purchased by WSQ LLC and the vacant residential property was purchased by Berckman Residential Properties LLC.
WSQ is the same limited liability company that acquired the 28-acre Stein Mart-anchored Washington Square shopping center in January 2018 for $20 million and the 14-acre Publix-anchored shopping center in December 2018 for $21 million.
National Hills, one of the city’s first suburban-style shopping centers, sits on 15 acres at 2701 Washington Road. The Circle K, CVS drugstore and Windsor Fine Jewelers properties are privately owned outparcel tracts and were not part of the sale.
The five vacant tracts in the Jamestown neighborhood along Margate Drive, which is walking distance from the club, were sold to the club by British sports-hospitality firm Byrom PLC. The firm had proposed redeveloping the 2.3-acre site as a private neighborhood with 14,200-square-feet of upscale residential space that, ostensibly, would be used for corporate hospitality during the Masters Tournament.
The company’s seven residential structures were approved in 2017 but never built.
The Augusta National, through affiliated companies, has acquired more than 110 acres of property surrounding the club during the past 20 years.
In March, Augusta National-affiliated companies acquired $6 million worth of real estate near the club, including several homes in the West Terrace neighborhood and the Wendy’s restaurant at 2738 Washington Road.