FORT PIERCE, FL-Spotting a retail redevelopment opportunity in a prime location, New York-based Coral Square Shoppes Fla LLC, an affiliate of the Roberts Organization, has acquired the 168,000-sf, 10%-occupied Coral Square Shopping Center here for a bargain-basement price of $6.6 million. The price for the 33-year-old property equals $39.29 per sf.

Area retail brokers and construction sources tell GlobeSt.com the minimum estimated replacement cost of a comparable property today is about $75 per sf.

Randy Tulepan, a principal in Coral Springs-based Tulepan Management LLC, also an affiliate of the Roberts Organization, tells GlobeSt.com the buyer plans to invest another $20 million in reconfiguring the property into a high-end, open-air power and lifestyle center. The seller was Aurora Investments Inc. of West Palm Beach.

“The property’s frontage along US 1 provides excellent access and visibility,” Tulepan tells GlobeSt.com. “The property is ideally located three-quarters of a mile south of Downtown Fort Pierce, with the bridge to Hutchinson Island less than two miles north of the subject site.” Five tenants currently occupy Coral Square Shopping Center, paying an average base rent of $20 per sf.

Tulepan says the buyer’s timing is right because both US 1 and the Downtown corridor are “undergoing a major renaissance of redevelopment, including brand new retail, office and residential projects.” He says the redevelopment of Coral Square Shopping Center will also include an entertainment and dining component that will incorporate a movie theater and restaurants “that have never before been represented in the Fort Pierce market.”

Tulepan Management will handle the entire two-year redevelopment project and tentatively plans to break ground by April 2006, Tulepan tells GlobeSt.com. He says the deal was done at this time because “Fort Pierce represents an exciting and rapidly expanding market.” Additionally, Tulepan says “the market is underserved as far as retail is concerned. And the land is situated in an excellent location with proximity to the Hutchinson Island and the Downtown areas.”

Principals at the Roberts Organization are Bob, Kevin and Kirk Roberts and Craig Tulepan. Harry Zooker and Peter Lnade of Comnet Realty Inc. of Boca Raton negotiated for the seller. Craig Tulepan represented the buyer.

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