(Crystal Proenza is associate editor of Real EstateFlorida.)

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LAUDERDALE LAKES, FL-The recent sale of Lakes Mall, located atthe intersection of State Road 7 and Ocean Park Boulevard, is justone of a number of transactions owner UrbanAmerica LP will becompleting in coming months. The New York City-based investmentadvisor firm is in the process of liquidating its Fund I, DaveMonzella, vice president of acquisitions, tells GlobeSt.com. Theportfolio includes 10 remaining retail, office and mixed-useproperties, most of which are located in Florida.

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The 254,690-square-foot Lakes Mall was purchased byUrbanAmerica's Fund I in 2000 for $5.6 million. Since the originalpurchase of the mall, UrbanAmerica has retenanted the property withanchors including Office Depot, Ross Dress for Less and Anna'sLinens. The 99%-leased mall has been sold to RMS Properties for$9.4 million.

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"They paid less than $50 per square foot, which is substantiallybelow replacement cost and that type of pricing is reflective oftoday's market in order to consummate a transaction," Mark Gilbert,executive vice president with Cushman & Wakefield of Florida,tells GlobeSt.com "RMS might be thinking redevelopment or leasingfor very low rental rates." RMS representatives could not bereached for comment Monday.

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Twenty of UrbanAmerica Fund I's acquired 28 properties have beensold to date, says Monzella. "It is a seven-year fund, plusextensions, so we are coming to the end of that period," he says.Approximately 1.2 million square feet making up 10 propertiesremain in the fund and are either on the market or will soon go upfor sale. Monzella says it would make the most sense to sell theremaining properties individually, but adds that the strategies forselling them have not yet been determined.

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The 472,025-square-foot Northside Shopping Center, located at7900 NW 27th Ave. in Miami, is the largest of the remainingproperties in the fund. Tampa Festival Centre, a130,146-square-foot property located at 2525 East Hillsborough Ave.in Tampa, will also be sold. Five smaller properties located inNaples, Fort Myers, Port Charlotte, Sarasota and West Palm Beach,will also go on the market.

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Outside Florida, the fund will look to liquidate the253,633-square-foot College Park Commons at 7800 Outer Dr. inDetroit, the 76,928-square-foot Nucleus Plaza at 900 W. Owens Ave.in Las Vegas, and a 76,123-square-foot property at 24, 54 and 60 S.Third Ave. in Mount Vernon, NY.

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"The demand for shopping centers of their quality has droppedprecipitously in the last few months as the economy has softened,"says Gilbert. "We certainly are at a point in time where it is moredifficult to be selling property. Pricing has changed on assetsanywhere from 10% to 25% over the last 12 months. If the propertiesare being sold with debt to be assumed, they might be easiertransactions," he adds.

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Richard Matricaria, vice president of investments with Marcus& Millichap in Fort Lauderdale, says the demand for this typeof property has not changed. Instead, the lenders' appetite forrisk has shifted so that buyers are chasing returns at a higherlevel, he says. He disagrees with Gilbert and believes now may be agood time to sell and access equity in a property to make goodpurchases in the next year.

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"We have a lot of clients that are interested in selling becausethey think the economy is going to get worse," Matricaria says."Next year, especially after what everyone is predicting to bedismal retail sales for holidays, I think you're going to see someretailers go out of business in the first quarter."

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