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NORTH MIAMI BEACH, FL-Banking on new development and investment niches on Florida’s southwest coast, locally-based Equity One Inc. is growing its portfolio there with the acquistion of Shoppes of North Port, an 85,005-sf retail center in Sarasota County, 180 miles northwest of Downtown Miami. The New York Stock Exchange-traded REIT paid New York-based Ezon Realty $7.25 million or $85.29 per sf for the asset, which is anchored by a Publix Supermarket store and a Beall’s Outlet.

Ezon helped close the sale by taking back a $4.4 million first mortgage at 6.65% interest. The asset has an estimated net operating income of $700,000. To do the deal, Equity One created a new partnership and contributed its interest in the Diana Building, an 18,707-sf retail/office property in West Palm Beach, FL with an estimated value of $2.8 million and a net operating income of $259,000. Ezon can exchange its partnership interest in the new partnership for 261,850 shares of Equity One common stock at a conversion price equal to $11 per share and a corresponding put option at $11 per share.

In a prepared statement, Equity One chairman/CEO Chaim Katzman calls Sarasota County “one of the fastest growing areas in the state and an area we continue to emphasize in our acquisition and investment activities.” Equity One Inc. acquires, renovates, develops and manages community and neighborhood shopping centers, primarily located in metropolitan areas of Florida. Its portfolio of 31 owned and 11 managed properties, includes 30 grocery-anchored shopping centers, five drugstore-anchored shopping centers, two other shopping centers and five mixed-use, office and retail properties.

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