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ORLANDO-When it comes to deal-making, John M. Crossman is in a league by himself, according to his peers at the Central Florida Commercial Real Estate Society. The society has honored Crossman for the second year in a row with its 2003 Hallmark Deal-of-the-Year Award. He is senior vice president of Trammell Crow Co.’s retail investment services division in Florida.

Crossman was cited for his work in negotiating a $13-million, 15-year, 107,000-sf lease with Bradenton, FL-based Beall’s Department Stores Inc. at the 19-year-old, 211,712-sf Piedmont Plaza neighborhood shopping center in suburban Apopka, FL, 17 miles northwest of Downtown Orlando.

The center’s owner, Dallas-based POB Montgomery, retained Trammell Crow in January 2003. But after Kmart vacated the space in April 2003, “prospective buyer interest waned,” Crossman tells GlobeSt.com.

Surprisingly, the Beall’s deal followed 30 days later. And 60 days later, Crossman and his partner, C. Whitney Knoll, senior vice president, retail investment services, in Crow’s Atlanta division, found a buyer for Piedmont Plaza. They sold the property to Inland Real Estate Acquisitions Inc. of Oak Brook, IL for $10.6 million or $47.99 per sf. The property now is 99% leased. “It was a very fast transaction,” Crossman tells GlobeSt.com. “The speed of the deal was important to both sides.”

For Piedmont Plaza’s owner, the closing price was a surprise. “The acquisition price exceeded the seller’s expectations,” he says.

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