Sanibel Beach Place

FORT MYERS, FL—Global Fund Investments and MMG Equity Partners bought a bank-owned Publix-anchored shopping center near a southwest Florida vacation spot for $7 million. The shopping center spans 74,286 square feet.

Located on Summerlin Road, a major east-west thoroughfare that connects Fort Myers to Sanibel and Captiva Island, more than 18,000 cars pass the Sanibel Beach Place daily. The population within a three-mile radius is 21,000 and the average household income is $81,000, according to MMG’s market research.

“While we have been looking in the market for some time, this is our first acquisition in southwest Florida,” MMG principal Gabe Navarro tells GlobeSt.com. “We were attracted to the center due to the long-term left on the Publix lease, a strategic position across the street from the Tangler Outlets and at the entrance to Sanibel and Captiva Islands, and the large upside potential through lease-up of the vacant space.”

The shopping center is only 75% occupied. The joint venture will focus on stabilizing the retail asset. Global has assumed the daily management and leasing functions for the shopping center to unlock the value for investors.

With Southwest Florida taking an especially hard hit during the economic downturn—and with Lee County among the hardest hit—the previous owner seemingly fell victim to timing. The previous ownership acquired the shopping center 2006, making it difficult to respond to the sudden drop in market rents.

“At our new basis we are in a good position to aggressively market the property at the appropriate market tents,” Navarro says. “We have signed new leases and have worked with current tenants to expand and lease additional space. This, together with cosmetic improvements underway, should allow us to stabilize the property in the next 12 to 24 months.”