Miami-based investors have big plans for Winter Garden shopping plaza

Miami-based Core Investment Properties Fund paid $11.5 million last week for an Aldi-anchored shopping plaza in Winter Garden, its third Orlando-area retail asset, and is looking for more value-add property.

"We have significant liquidity in our fund, and we'll be targeting another $50 million to invest through the end of 2018," Core IPF Managing Partner Adam Greenberg told GrowthSpotter on Monday.

Greenberg said the Winter Garden plaza, which sits on 20 acres at the corner of Colonial Drive and South Park Avenue with nearly 130,000 square feet of net leasable space, fit perfectly with Core's investment criteria.

"It's a huge shopping center with a tremendous amount of land," he said. "We specifically like Winter Garden because there's a lot of residential development and a lot of growth."

Amera Corp. was the seller. CBRE's Daniel Baker and David Donnellan brokered the sale, while City National Bank of Florida provided $7.2 million in financing. 

Core will consider developing at least one new outparcel. Immediate plans call for improvements to the exterior facade, deferred maintenance and landscaping.

The center had nearly 16,500 square feet available at the time of the sale, with the possibility of another 25,000 square feet if the Let's Skate roller rink vacates its space. Ultimately, Core will curate a new mix of tenants to compliment the center's two anchors, Aldi Food Market and Harbor Freight. 

"We're looking for experience and amenity-oriented tenants: restaurants and family entertainment centers," Greenberg said. 

Greenberg and partner Michael Lapointe started Core 15 years ago. They bought their first Orlando-area shopping center, Vista Centre Shoppes in Lake Buena Vista, in 2015.

Greenberg said the duo spent most of 2017 setting up their open-ended investment fund, and so far this year the fund has closed on three new properties, including The Shoppes of Eustis Village for $6.8 million. 

"Our strategy is value-add retail in major MSAs," he said. 

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