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ACWORTH, GA-A California-based investor has acquired the 34,949-sf Acworth Commons shopping center at 3344 Cobb Parkway for $5.5 million, or $158 per sf.

The seller was Atlanta-based Hendon Group LLC, represented by Ed Nutting and Michael Hubley of Marcus & Millichap’s Atlanta office, which marketed and listed the property. David Wells of the firm’s Tampa office represented the buyer, identified only as Acworth Commons LLC.

Wells tells GlobeSt.com that the seller is a developer who seeks to buy a 19-center portfolio and will use the proceeds from Acworth Commons to facilitate that transaction. He adds that the buyer has acquired $70 million in properties over the past few years, mainly in Florida. “This deal was attractive to the buyer because it offers a little higher yield and a better cap rate than properties in Florida,” he says.

Wells says the deal represents a trend of buyers seeking properties north of Florida in search of better yields. “Due to the increasing costs of owning and operating Florida real estate they are headed out of state to achieve higher returns,” he says.

Built in 2002, the property is situated on 3.8 acres in Acworth, an Atlanta suburb. It is anchored by Staples with other tenants including Hibbett Sports and Beef O’Brady’s. The property is 100% occupied.

Wells adds that he anticipates the trend to continue until Florida can better control property tax rolls and insurance costs. “Florida is seeing this trend on the residential side as well,” he says. “A lot of people have begun buying second homes in the Carolinas instead of Florida for the same insurance and tax purposes.”

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