ORLANDO-Eagle Ridge Shoppes, a 65,751-square foot Publix-anchored shopping center in Groveland, has a new owner. A Burger King corporate ground lease was also part of the sale. A private equity group from Miami snapped up the asset for $9.1 million, or $138 per square foot.

Daniel “Sonny” Molloy, a vice president of investments in Marcus & Millichap’s Atlanta office, represented the seller, Groveland Associates LLC, a Tampa-based development company. Kirk Olson and Drew A. Kristol, senior associates in the firm’s Miami office, represented the buyer.

“There are many lakes in the surrounding area—several are positioned between Groveland and the nearby town of Clermont—and for many residents of Clermont it is easier to come to the Groveland Publix than it is to shop at one in their own town,” Molloy said in a statement. He noted that same geographic advantage seems to have contributed to the success of Public.

The shopping center is located on the northeast corner of State Road 50 and County Road 565A at 7975 State Road 50. State Road 50 is Groveland’s main artery and connects Orlando with Tampa. The center is about 25 miles northwest of downtown Orlando and less than five miles from Clermont. Market studies predict a 15% population growth in the area during the next five years.

“During the peak, this property may have sold for 20% to 25% more, due to the fact that pro forma rental projections would have been higher,” Olson tells GlobeSt.com. “While the underwriting is more conservative today, investor’s required rates of return haven’t changed much because it’s difficult to find investments that generate a high yield in today’s economy and because interest rates are still very low.”

Eagle Ridge Shoppes was built in 2007 on 10.9 acres. The shopping center is 80% leased with Publix occupying 70% of the space, not including the Burger King outpad. Other notable tenants include Great Clips and Subway. Olson figures the Burger King added about $1.3 million to the sales price.

“The small shops were about 65% vacant, so the buyer had significant upside in leasing these spaces,” Olson says. “Small shop rents have dropped since 2007 and 2008 in this area, but the buyer underwrote the deal to what he believes can be achieved in today’s market. Financing has improved in today’s market, as we are now seeing deals like this get financed by banks, where that would not have been the case a year ago.”