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BRADENTON, FL-Manhattan Beach, CA-based EJ-Manatee LLC has acquired the 80,013-sf Manatee Town Center at 5261 33rd St. for $10.25 million, or $122 per sf. The retail asset sits at the corner of 33rd Street and 53rd Avenue State Road 70.

The seller was Manatee Town Center LLC. The buyer consists of several investors and TICs. David Wells, of the Wells Retail Group of Marcus & Millichap, represented both the buyer and seller.

Built in 1990, the property sits on 16 acres. It is anchored by a Sweetbay grocery store and includes an additional an additional 3.2 acres of land sitting directly adjacent north of the property. Other tenants in the shopping center include Dollar General and Blockbuster Video. The property has a McDonald’s outparcel, which was not included in the sale.

Wells says the seller had owned the property since the late 1990s and decided it was time to sell. The buyer, which is selling multifamily assets it currently owns to invest in retail properties, acquired the property as part of a 1031 exchange. The buyer, which recently acquired another Publix-anchored shopping center on the same street, plans to develop 20,000 sf to 30,000 sf more retail on 3.2 acres of vacant land.

Wells adds that the transaction faced some challenges due to the fact that the deal went into contract at the end of June right before the shakeup in the debt markets. Originally the loan was quoted to the buyer at around a 5.75% interest rate with a 75% loan-to-value. When the credit markets dried up, the loan shot up to a 6.5% interest rate and the loan ended up being a 55% loan-to-value with lender requiring the debt to be partial recourse.

“The credit crunch forced both buyers and sellers to revaluate the value of properties in the marketplace,” Wells says. “The higher cost of borrowing led to a drastic reduction in pricing. This has caused buyers to shop more intensely for favorable financing and accept less favorable terms.”

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