A St. Petersburg investor who is also a prominent Tampa Bay flooring retailer has acquired the Eustis Square Shopping Center and the deal could herald the expansion of the retail brand, JB Factory Flooring, into central Florida.
Boukalis Development of St. Petersburg bought the shopping center, at 332 W. Ardice Ave. in Eustis, from Jensen Center Ltd. of San Antonio, Texas. The purchase price was $7.4 million and the deal comes with a mortgage to Jensen Center of $4.8 million. The deal was recorded in Lake County on Jan. 25.
Bill Boukalis is the head of both Boukalis Development and JB Factory Flooring, which has showrooms in St. Petersburg and Clearwater.
Last week, Boukalis told GrowthSpotter that he was "planning to open a store there (at Eustis Square), yes." But that apparently isn't a lock; Boukalis Development spokeswoman Patricia Karagiannis said Tuesday the company is in negotiations with another potential anchor tenant for the plaza. That could scotch plans for the flooring center.
The Eustis Square center encompasses 124,395 square feet. It was built in 1984. Current tenants include a Save-A-Lot grocery, Aaron's rent-to-own center, Bealls Outlet and several smaller restaurants and shops.
Boukalis said he finds mid-sized urban shopping plazas "a very good investment."
Boukalis Development owns the St. Petersburg plaza that hosts the flagship JB Factory Flooring store on 22nd Ave. N. It also owns a shopping plaza on Fowler Avenue in Tampa.
"When you see something and you like it, you buy it, that's the way it works," he said.
Rachael Hurst, director of real estate for Spigel Properties Inc., the property manager for the seller, also characterized the deal as "a normal real estate transaction. It was just good timing."
Spigel acquired the shopping center in 2015 for $5.85 million.