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PEMBROKE PINES, FL-Westfork Tower LLC, a joint venture between Miami Beach-based Terranova Corp. and Stamford, CT-based BlackRock Realty Advisors has acquired Westfork Plaza from Miami-based LNR Property Corp. The price tag was $58.4 million, or nearly $232 per sf, for the 251,783-sf shopping center on Pines Boulevard just west of Interstate 75.

Terranova led the acquisition and negotiated the transaction for the buyer following its three-year leasing turnaround of the property for LNR. “It was a special opportunity to buy a property that we had the chance to ‘date’ three years before getting married,” says Stephen Bittel, Terranova’s chairman. Representatives from the New York City and Miami offices of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP represented LNR.

Coconut Grove-based Swerdlow Co. developed the center in 1999. Bittel tells GlobeSt.com, “When LNR acquired the property over three years ago, it hired us to reposition it.” During that time, Terranova brokered the $7-million sale of a shuttered Kmart of Costco Wholesale Inc., which is constructing a new unit–its first in Pembroke Pines–to open in October. Terranova also brokered a $4-million deal with Office Max to join in-line anchors Winn Dixie and Regal Cinemas.

In addition, it inked 11 other new leases totaling 50,000 sf to bring occupancy to 100%. The new tenants, which include WCI Prudential Florida, Chicken Kitchen and Las Vegas Cuban Café, join such national chains as Blockbuster Video, Payless ShoeSource, Party City, Rag Shop, Fashion Bug and Hertz.

“We believe there’s still more value to be gained in the property. We have rental rate increases of over 50% with renewals,” he adds. “LNR is historically not a long-term owner. They created value, and this was a good time to sell. We think this is one of the best tenanted, best located retail centers in Broward County.”

Terranova, a provider of retail management, leasing and tenant representation throughout Florida, is involved with nearly $1.5 billion in assets for its clients and its own portfolio, according to Bittel. “We’ve owned in South Florida since 1979,” he says. “Our interest in ownership is accelerating, and retail is the largest proportion of our ownership, although we like all three asset classes. Ownership now represents just under 50% of our commercial real estate involvement, and we intend to grow it along with our other business and keep the entire business at a ratio of about 50/50 [ownership vs. management and tenant representation].”

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