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(Carl Cronan is editor of Real Estate Florida.)

ORLANDO-Although the volume of retail property transactions is still well below that of past years, deals are still getting done within the unique area of small, unanchored strip centers, according to CB Richard Ellis. The brokerage negotiated the sale of the 33,000-square-foot MetroWest Shoppes at 3120 Kirkman Road for $12 million, or $363 per square foot.

The per-unit price is well above the low-$300 range average for retail space that isn’t anchored by a supermarket or other large store, says Dan Baker, first vice president of investment properties with CBRE’s Orlando office, which represented seller MetroWest Commercial Partners LLC in the transaction. The Miller Group, an Orlando-based private development and investment firm, was the buyer.

Retail centers such as MetroWest Shoppes, which opened in 2006, fit squarely within a sector that most often involves two types of transactions: anchored centers, which mainly attract institutional investors, and single-tenant net lease properties, a favorite of private or novice commercial real estate buyers. Baker says investor response for this sale was still favorable, though it attracted far fewer bidders than it might have a few years back.

“It takes somebody with more financial resources to pull it off,” Baker tells GlobeSt.com about the transaction. He adds that Miller Group knows the MetroWest submarket of southwest Orlando very well and sees upside potential to the center.

One wrinkle to deal during the due-diligence phase this past fall was the failure of Washington Mutual Bank, which was turned over to JP Morgan Chase for $1.9 billion. Baker says Chase agreed to keep the end-cap WaMu office at MetroWest Shoppes, which also has FedEx Office and Verizon Wireless as its primary tenants.

Assisting Baker in the sale were fellow CBRE brokers Bill Strauss, Dave Donnellan and Todd Weintraub. Mark Drazek of CBRE’s net leased properties group also represented the seller.

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