PALM BAY, FL-Palm Bay West, a 263,356-square-foot shoppingcenter constructed in 1989, has sold for $14.25 million in an allcash deal. The property is 91% leased.

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Plaza Advisors Co-managing Partners Jim Michalak and AnthonyBlanco, together with Senior Financial Analyst Lenard Williams,represented the seller, Edens & Avant, a private real estateinvestment company in Colombia, S.C. The buyer was an undisclosedNew York-based private investor.

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Michalak tells GlobeSt.com that the deal is interesting becauseof the sheer square footage and its location in a secondary marketwith long-term tenants that enjoy strong shopper loyalty. Majortenants include Winn Dixie, Beall’s Department Store, Ace Hardware,Dollar Tree, and a 10-screen theatre.

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“From a capital markets perspective we are seeing the bulk ofthe 2010 shopping center investment sales are grocery anchoredassets,” Michalak says. “Out of the 36 Florida anchored shoppingcenter sales in 2010 26, or 72%, have been grocery anchored,including 21 Publix, three Sweetbay, one Winn Dixie, and onePresidente.”

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Of course, the vast majority of investors prefer to purchasePublix anchored centers, which is driving up the price for thoseassets. But Michalak says the Winn Dixie-anchored plaza salesignifies a demand for alternative—secondary—grocery anchoredassets. The fact that favorable debt was obtained, he adds, signalsthat the credit markets have capital for second tier assets.

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Palm Bay is on Florida’s east coast, midway between Jacksonvilleand Miami. Michalak says the Palm Bay economy is diverse but stillsomewhat dependant upon the space exploration and adjunctindustries.

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“I am not certain about the health of the industrial, apartmentor office markets but the anchored retail market, within threemiles of Palm Bay West, contains over 1 million square feet and is92.5% leased,” Michalak says. “The residential housing market isstill in upheaval with 21% of the housing stock vacant.”

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