BIRMINGHAM, AL-A South Florida buyer has plunked down $11.5 million to acquire the 98%-leased Roebuck Center. The first-time area investor has bought the 152,243-sf retail center from an international private investment group, which is exiting the US.

According to Craig Taylor, senior vice president with CB Richard Ellis’ Atlanta office, Roebuck Center, situated at 9078-96 Parkway East, was on the market about four months, with eight qualified offers coming down the pike for Arcis Investments. He says Wal-Mart’s entry into the submarket energized the area. “Two of the best offers were both from Florida,” Taylor says, adding that the bids came from private investors. The CBRE team included senior vice president Mark Shellabarger and associate Matthew Baldwin.

Taylor tells that the buyer of record, Roebuck Bansal LLC, got the property because of its willingness to learn about the market and ability to apply for a mortgage and get due diligence done quickly. “He engaged the services of a local mortgage broker who understood the real estate in the area rather than simply looking at stuff on a grid,” he adds.

Taylor says the center, built in the early 1990s on 15 acres, won’t need any rehab or any major rent increases. “The rent levels are comfortable for most of the tenants,” he says. “I think the thing that attracted this buyer was little turnover historically.”

Dan Anderson and Stephen Butler of Engel Realty Co. in Birmingham acted as local market advisers for the transaction. Engel Realty will also handle leasing and management.

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