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PORT CHARLOTTE, FL-Thirteen years after acquiring Murdock Carrousel out of foreclosure, TCW Asset Management Co. has sold the 136,271-sf retail center to Woolbright Development for $19.25 million. The $141-per-sf deal further expands the Boca Raton-based company’s presence in the Florida retail market.

The center is located at 1900 Tamiami Trail (US 41) and the tenant roster includes Office Depot, Haverty’s Furniture, Blockbuster and Subway. In addition, Lowe’s is currently performing site work for a 160,983-sf home improvement store on a 10.5-acre section of the property. According to Jim Michalak, partner at Plaza Advisors, Lowe’s purchased the 10.5 acres from TCW in October. Plaza Advisors represented the seller in the deal.

With the purchase, Woolbright plans to perform a more than $2-million renovation to the shopping center. According to Woolbright, it is making the improvements to take care of some maintenance issues, have the property be consistent with the southside of the center and to improve curb appeal. The improvements include upgrades to the parking lot, new landscaping and upgrades to the facade. In addition, a 15,000-sf freestanding building will be added along US 41.

“The purchase of this center is a perfect example of our trademark business strategy, which is identifying underdeveloped properties and quickly transforming the centers with enhancements and the addition of strong tenants,” explains Mike Fimiani, executive vice president. “These improvements to our centers have a substantially increased foot traffic and are attractive to local shoppers.”

TCW purchased Murdock Carrousel out of foreclosure from Nations Bank (now known as Bank of America), according to Michalak, with the intention of re-tenanting and stabilizing the asset–which took longer than expected, he said. The center originally featured a Food Lion, which left Florida with the exception of Jacksonville, and Service Merchandise, which closed under Chapter 11.

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