FORT MYERS, FL-Trammell Crow Co. brokers C. Whitney Knoll and John M. Crossman handled the $40.6-million sale of two locally based shopping centers totaling 566,650 sf and got more than the sellers had expected, the brokers tell GlobeSt.com.

In North Fort Meyers, Knoll negotiated a $21.8-million sale price for Atlanta-based Abrams Properties’ 293,801-sf Merchants Crossing shopping center at 15201 North Cleveland Ave. Noble Management of Greenacres, FL bought the 98%-leased property for $74.20 per sf. “The sale price exceeded the expectations” of Abrams “by more than $1 million,” Knoll tells GlobeSt.com.

At Tamiami Trail and Daniels Parkway, a hot area retail sector, Knoll was able to get $18.8 million for Capri/Capital Advisors LLC of Illinois for its 272,849-sf Cypress Trace retail asset. UP Properties of Omaha, NE paid $68.72 per sf for the property.

On its sale of Merchants Crossing, Alan R. Abrams, co-chairman, president and CEO of Abrams Industries Inc., parent of Abrams Properties, says “with the successful completion of the long-planned sale of the company-developed investment property, we were able to obtain an excellent price from the current favorable real estate markets and capture the value we created.”

Abrams Industries developed and constructed Merchants Crossing in the early 1990s. AMC, Bealls Jo-Ann Fabrics and Kmart are the co-anchors. The sale didn’t include any of the company’s adjacent land holdings.

Abrams calls the transaction “an important milestone in our ongoing efforts to strategically reposition Abrams Industries.” He says the company plans to use the sale proceeds to invest in other income-producing properties and “through the additional strategic acquisitions like our recent purchase of the Wheatstone Energy Group.”

Abrams says his company has contracted to buy “a high-quality, fully leased professional office building located in a fast-growing submarket” of metro Atlanta. “We expect to close on this deal in the next few weeks,” he says.

In a separate transaction, Abrams Industries is negotiating to acquire a small, specialized engineering company to complement its existing energy management practice, the CEO says. Some of the Merchants Crossing sale proceeds will also be applied to “several other potential uses” at Abrams Industries, he says.

The company owns or controls about 1.1 million sf of shopping centers in the Midwest and Southeast and about 200,000 sf of office properties in metro Atlanta.

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