As the credit crunch tightens its grip on lending, REIT One Liberty Properties Inc. is looking to take advantage of retail owners seeking sale-leaseback deals. In this month alone One Liberty has bought and leased back nine Office Depot locations for more than $53 million. Through wholly-owned subsidiaries, One Liberty Properties acquired a portfolio of eight retail locations totaling about 218,000 square feet of retail space in Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, Texas, California, Georgia and Oregon for $47.6 million, paid in cash. Simultaneously with the acquisition, each of the properties was leased on a triple net basis for an initial term of approximately 10 years, with options to extend. Each of the properties is leased to Office Depot Inc. And on Sept. 18, One Liberty purchased a 16,000-square-foot Office Max retail store located in Naples, Fla., and net leased the property to OfficeMax through March 2018, with options to extend. “The deal came down the pike and we liked it,” Simeon Brinberg, senior vice president for One Liberty, told CPN. “We have found that in the last six months, we’re seeing more deals than we saw for the couple of years before that…. Part of that we attribute to the fact that people aren’t looking for 1031s,” he added. “There is tremendous competition for net leases. We’ve been doing sale-leasebacks since 1989 and it was very quiet for a couple of years. We were not getting the kinds of returns we needed, but we’ve seen those numbers grow in the last year and we pulled the trigger.” New York-based One Liberty specializes in the acquisition and ownership of a diverse portfolio of real estate properties under long term net leases.