A Virginia company has paid $15.8 million for five South Carolina shopping centers, including one in Dorchester County.

Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust Inc. said all of the newly acquired properies are anchored by grocery stores.

The deal included the 59,279-square-foot St. George Plaza, which publicly traded Wheeler purchased from a privately held affilated for $3.6 million, or about $61 a square foot.

The 32-year-old property center on West Jim Bilton Boulevard has Food Lion subsidiary Reid's Groceries as its main tenant. Other businesses include Family Dollar. About 86 percent of the space is leased.

The four other center that Wheeler bought are in Clover, Lancaster, Little River and West Columbia.

"We feel that these properties are the perfect compliment to our existing portfolio, as they are necessity-based shopping centers located in tertiary markets with an average occupancy rate of 91 percent," CEO Jon S. Wheeler said in statement.

The Virginia Beach-based company now owns 23 retail centers in eight states.