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Big sale comes to Walmart in Saugus

A property development company went shopping on Route 1 in Saugus.

The Walmart Superstore has been sold for $24.1 million, but new building owner  RK Centers plans to keep the major retailer as their tenant.

“You read a lot in the papers about the end of old brick-and-mortar stores but we don’t believe it,” said Ken Fries, director of acquisitions at RK Centers. “We believe that Walmart has an excellent platform to compete in the coming years.”

The Needham-based company purchased the 114,000-square-foot building earlier this month. It wasn’t the only purchase made by the company in December; they also acquired an 87,000-square-foot plaza on Main Street in Medfield.

“These acquisitions nicely fit our portfolio profile: open-air, well-situated, heavy traffic locations with good demographics — and well-known tenants,” said Fries.

The real estate development company manages more than 8 million square feet of retail space and has acquired 2.15 million square feet in the past three years. Most of the company’s properties are west and south of Boston.

Walmart opened its Saugus location in October 2014, after about two years of construction. When it first opened, the town’s Deputy Assessor Ron Keohan said the property was valued at $1.2 million and estimated the town could make about $900,000 per year in property taxes.

“As long as this building remains a Walmart, I don’t have any concerns with this sale,” said Debra Panetta, chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen.

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