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(Carl Cronan is editor of Real EstateFlorida.)

BOCA RATON, FL-Federal Realty Investment Trust has acquired Del Mar Village, a 153,595-sf neighborhood shopping center anchored by a Winn-Dixie supermarket, from Woolbright Development for $41.7 million, or $272 per sf. The cash deal is the first purchase in South Florida by Rockville, MD-based Federated Realty.

The acquisition of Del Mar Village, which also features a CVS pharmacy and Sweet Tomatoes restaurant, reflects Federal Realty’s strategy of purchasing assets in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties. The REIT cites the contiguous counties’ high population density and affluence as strong attractions.

“Our specific target areas of South Florida share many attributes with our existing coastal core markets, including strong demographics, significant barriers to entry and highly fragmented property ownership,” Donald Wood, Federal Realty president and CEO, stated in a release. Del Mar Village, at the intersection of Palmetto Park and Powerline Roads in Boca Raton, has at least 50,000 households and average incomes of more than $95,000 within a three-mile radius.

The shopping center was recently renovated, and Federal Realty plans its own income-growth strategy at the property, including re-leasing spaces where tenants have been paying below-market rents, says Jeff Berkes, the REIT’s executive vice president and chief investment officer. “”It not only fits our selective, low-risk acquisition criteria, but allows us to initiate our expansion into South Florida,” he says.

Federated Realty specializes in owning, managing, developing and redeveloping high-quality retail assets. Its portfolio encompasses 18.4 million sf within the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and California, along with one million sf of retail space owned through a joint venture in which it has a 30% stake.

In other recent retail transactions within Florida, Marcus & Millichap says it facilitated the sale of the 17,612-sf Lighthouse Plaza shopping center at 6428 International Drive in Orlando. The 29-year-old asset commanded a price of $5.8 million, or $330 per sf.

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