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NY investors buy I-Drive Bass Pro Shops for $17 million

NY investors buy I-Drive Bass Pro Shops for $17 million
Bass Pro Shops is currently building five new stores in Florida, but the new owner of the Orlando store said the International Drive location is still the best in the country. (Bass Pro Shops)

A pair of real estate investors from New York paid $17 million this week for Orlando's Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World superstore at Artegon Marketplace.

"It's a beautiful piece of property and a beautiful store," buyer Michael Aviles told GrowthSpotter on Tuesday. "We feel like it's a good long-term investment."

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Aviles' company, 5156 Bass Pro LLC, and Florence Reifinger's SFR LLC acquired the 16.74-acre parcel at Artegon. The 144,527-square-foot store opened in 2000.

In the last four years, Bass Pro Shops has expanded rapidly in Florida, opening a new store in Tampa and building new stores in Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, Gainesville and Sarasota. This year the company announced plans for its 15th Florida store in N. Palm Beach.

None of that bothers Aviles.

"The Orlando store is the number one store in the country," he said. "Because it's such a wonderful store, they're able to open a new store in Tampa. It's not a concern, it's sort of an affirmation as to how strong the store is."

Avilas said that most of the newer Outdoor World stores tend to locate in less desirable retail locations, and they can afford to because they attract destination shoppers. The Orlando store on North International Drive is a different story.

"This location is far better - it's a great location," he said. "This store does phenomenally well."

An affiliate of New York-based Lightstone Group bought the former Festival Bay Mall in December 2010 for $25 million, and poured $70 million into remaking and rebranding it as Artegon Marketplace. The mall features several anchors in addition to Bass Pro, including Ron Jon Surf Shop and movie theater Cinemark.

Mercantil Commercebank provided $7.5 million in financing to Aviles and Reifinger for the deal. Aviles said he is actively looking for more investment properties in the Orlando market.

"Me personally, I love the Orlando area," he said. "I expect a lot of great things will happen in that area in the next 10 years."

This sale follows a $13 million purchase of the Cinemark outparcel on Oct. 16 by an affiliate of Arizona-based STORE Capital, first reported by GrowthSpotter on Oct. 19.

A replat of the property earlier this year by Artegon Marketplace's ownership set the stage for anchor tenant parcels to be sold. The two subsequent parcel sales totaling $30 million now exceed the $25 million paid for the entire shopping mall.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407)420-6261, or tweet me at @LKinslerOGrowth. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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