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BRADENTON, FL-Manhattan Beach, CA-based EJ Partners has acquired the 80,599-sf Twelve Oaks Plaza at 7290 55th Ave. for $11.2 million, or $140 per sf. The seller of the property was Baltimore-based Twelve Oaks Shopping Plaza Inc.

Marcus & Millichap agent David Wells, who is based in Tampa and is an associate with the firm’s National Retail Group, represented both the buyer and seller in the transaction. Marcus & Millichap Capital Corp. associate director Danny York brokered the loan for the deal. The cap rate on the acquisition was 6.25%.

“Buyers in California are willing to pay a little more because properties are more expensive in California than Florida,” Wells says. “That’s how we were able to keep the cap rate low.”

Wells tells GlobeSt.com that the seller is selling the multi-tenanted assets in its portfolio in favor of acquiring single-tenant properties which are less management intensive. Conversely, the buyer is disposing of the apartment buildings in its portfolio in favor of buying retail properties, which are easier to manage. The Twelve Oaks Plaza acquisition was made as part of a 1031 Exchange.

“Twelve Oaks Plaza offers an excellent stabilized asset in a growing and diverse retail market,” Wells says. “The center is well-established with high historical occupancy and a great location off Interstate 75.”

Built in 1993, the property sits on 7.55 acres. A 55,000-sf Publix supermarket serves as the anchor tenant. Wells says one of the challenges of the acquisitions was insurance. The seller’s insurance rate, which had been 30 cents per sf before the past few hurricane seasons, had risen dramatically in recent years. To keep the rates as low as possible, Wells sought bids from numerous insurance companies. By creating competition, the buyer was able to get insurance at approximately $1 per sf, which was sufficient to meet the bank’s terms for obtaining financing for the transaction, Wells says.

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