Limestone Asset Management, an affiliate of Orion Real Estate Group, is once again betting on Orlando’s Mall at Millenia.
At a time when malls around the world are struggling to attract shoppers, the company is growing its portfolio of properties surrounding the large shopping center off Interstate 4 at Conroy Road near the northern end of International Drive.
Limestone Asset Managements just paid $10.4 million for three out-parcels around the mall, bringing its total assemblage of out-parcels to 118,263 square feet.
The deal includes a 5,530-square-foot AT&T store, a 5,045-square-foot Panera Bread, and an adjacent 3,500-square-foot Shake Shack at 4060 Conroy Road.
It adds to the company’s purchase of more than 100,000 square feet of commercial space around the mall in September for $22.7 million, including buildings occupied by Olive Garden, BJ’s Brewhouse, Old Navy, West Elm, Ethan Allen, DSW and Ingenus Pharmaceuticals.
Lease agreements at the properties will remain intact and are considered long-term, according to a news release issued by Limestone Asset Management.
Kevin Sanz, president of Orion Real Estate Group, represented the buyer.
Patrick Luther of SRS represented Conroy Millenia Partners LLP, the seller of the AT&T store at 4006 Conroy Road.
The partners developed many of the out-parcel buildings surrounding Mall at Millenia between 2003 and 2009, not too long after the mall opened in 2002. Together they own about a dozen other out-parcels, including the 58,475-square-foot Shoppes at Millenia retail center on the corner of Millenia Boulevard and Conroy Road.
Today, Mall at Millenia features about 150 stores, across 1.2 million square feet. The shopping center is owned by a real estate investment trust, Simon, formerly known as Simon Property Group. The REIT took control of the property late last year when it acquired an 80% ownership stake in Taubman Realty Group.
When malls shuttered and retail revenue plummeted due to the pandemic, Simon attempted to back out of the deal, but TRG responded by threatening to file a lawsuit if the company did not go through with the merger.
In November, the two companies agreed to sell all of Taubman Centers Inc.’s common stock for a lower price of $43 per share, in cash. The Taubman family retains a 20% stake in the company.
Analytics firm Placer.ai found malls throughout the nation are experiencing a rebound in foot traffic as most of the economy opens up, restrictions loosen and more people receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Foot traffic at a representative sample of 52 malls in March was up 86% from the same month last year, according to Placer.ai. But that number was 24% lower compared to foot traffic in March 2019, the study found.
Local retail industry experts previously told GrowthSpotter they believe businesses offering outdoor seating, online shopping options, curbside pickup and other forms of delivery and carryout options will prove to be more successful in a post-pandemic world.
Ibrahim Al-Rashid, chairman of Limestone Asset Management and son of Saudi billionaire Nasser Ibrahim Al-Rashid, said he wouldn’t be investing in the properties if he didn’t believe in the success of the Mall of Millenia and its “exposure to the over 75 million international and domestic tourists who visit Orlando each year, plus local residents.”
“Orlando is already one of the most visited cities in the world,” he said. “And with the continued reopening, we anticipate Orlando will return to its high growth trajectory.”