By Stephanie Guzman / Albuquerque Business First Reporter, Thursday, April 28, 2016 at 8:01am

HOBBS – Allen Sigmon Real Estate Group has sold an 85,000-square-foot shopping center in Hobbs it has owned since 2014.

The Albuquerque-based company said it initially bought the Bel Aire Shopping Center on E. Bender Boulevard as an investment among the company’s partners Lance Sigmon, Brad Allen, Jeff Martinez and Rob Powell.

The center sold to an out-of-state buyer after the group improved the center and maintained its occupancy despite a slowdown in Hobbs’ economy due to low oil prices. The price of the sale was not disclosed, nor was the buyer.

The center has big box stores Big Lots and Family Dollar, and smaller storefronts and restaurants including Verizon and Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar. Only 3,000 square feet of the center is vacant.

The Allen Sigmon team kept two pad sites on two acres in the center, which they had planned to develop.

The sale of the shopping center will keep Allen Sigmon busy, as the team is looking for a new value-add investment to fulfill a 1031 exchange.

The real estate firm is also busy with other projects, including its from-the-ground-up 20,000-square-foot retail development in Los Lunas, a retail project in Albuquerque’s Eagle Ranch area, and most recently, a partnership to develop a 120-unit hotel in Las Cruces on the New Mexico State University campus.

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