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MIAMI-Colonial Properties Trust purchased three South Florida retail properties from Ross Matz Investments Inc. for a total gross price of nearly $81.7 million. The largest property in the sale is the Deerfield Mall, a 371,000-sf, more than 95%-leased outdoor mall in Deerfield Beach anchored by Publix, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, the Sports Authority, Sunrise Cinemas and OfficeMax.

A partnership of Ross Matz Investments Inc. bought the mall from Investcorp of New York for $42.6 million, or $114.82 per sf, in January 2003, at which time buying partnership principal Barry Ross said the mall suffered from delayed maintenance. As a condition of that sale, the mall, located at 3984 W. Hillsboro Blvd, would get a significant renovation. The $1 million in upgrades included painting, a new facade and awnings, landscaping, pressure cleaning of sidewalks and parking lot improvements. The mall had a grand reopening Nov. 22. Investcorp paid $34.7 million for the mall in late 1999.

The recent sale to Colonial Properties Trust also included College Parkway Center, an 82,000-sf center that Office Depot anchors in Fort Myers, and Office Depot Plaza, a 68,000-sf center in Pembroke Pines with Office Depot, Sound Advice and CompUSA on the tenant roster. The three-property sale involved the buyer assuming $49 million in existing property debt.

Ross Matz Investments acquired College Parkway Center, which is 100% leased, in summer 2002. The company built Office Depot Plaza, more than 95% leased, in the end of 2002.The properties were not placed on the market. Instead, Colonial Properties Trust sought them out, says Gloria Gemayel, vice president of Ross Realty Investments Inc., which represented Ross Matz Investments in the transaction. Todd Hardin of Colonial Properties Trust represented the buyer.

“Colonial Properties Trust came to us and mentioned that they were looking for product in the South Florida area. They approached us,” Gemayel says. Colonial Properties Trust knew Ross Matz Investments owned the type of property the company was looking for, she adds.

“We’re in the business of buying and selling real estate. We had a contract with Colonial Properties Trust. They wished to close within this time frame,” she says.

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