Marking its expansion into the Florida market, Maryland-based Greenberg Gibbons, a developer and owner of mixed-use properties along the East coast, has purchased Sanford’s Gateway Plaza shopping center for $23.6 million.
The transaction of the property — which includes 214,789-square-foot of retail space and tenants such as Floor & Décor, Ashley Furniture, Bed, Bath and Beyond and Michael’s across the street from Seminole Towne Center Mall — closed on May 9, according to Seminole County deed records.
The sale total amounts to $109.8 per square foot.
“We’re excited to further expand Greenberg Gibbons’ footprint into the South with the acquisition of Gateway Plaza,” Tom Falatko, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions at Greenberg Gibbons, said in a news release. “Florida’s population continues to expand as many people are choosing to relocate there, and we see exciting opportunities to further increase this property’s value.”
The shopping center, built in 1995, was formerly owned by New York-based Apollo Global Management. JLL Capital Markets, a national real estate and investment management firm, marketed the property on behalf of the seller.
In a news release announcing the sale, JLL said it received “about a dozen offers from investors” and heralded Sanford as “one of the most desirable and affluent communities in Florida.”
It also touted the location of the shopping center, saying that the 1.1 million square foot mall across the street is “ripe for redevelopment and a reinvention” with the completion of the SR-417 / SR-429 toll road and the super-regional accessibility.
Sanford city officials have for years discussed the need to reinvent the struggling mall while development plans have emerged with that goal in mind.
In 2020, New York mall operator Kohan Retail Investment Group purchased the Seminole Towne Center with plans to redevelop it into a mixed-use destination that will feature new entertainment concepts and multifamily residences.
The Gateway Plaza, positioned on 24.3-acres, is adjacent to Interstate-4 and five miles from the Orlando Sanford Airport and historic downtown Sanford.
The JLL Retail Capital Markets Investment Sales and Advisory team that represented the seller was led by Senior Managing Director Brad Peterson and Senior Director Whitaker Leonhardt.
“Over the last three to five years, residential developers have been buying land and building apartments in anticipation of the completion of SR-417 / SR-429 outer loop at the intersection with Interstate 4,” Peterson said. “The area is already booming as a result, but it will get another adrenaline shot once it is completed in 2023, with lots more residents living in new apartments in the immediate area.”
He added, “That combined with even better super-regional access for shoppers in northwest Orlando will have a big effect on visitor traffic and the success for tenants at Gateway Plaza.”
Landsea Homes recently signed on to plans to build a 149-subdivision at E Lake Mary Boulevard and Eaglewoods Trail, in Sanford roughly three miles southeast of the Orlando-Sanford Airport.
Meanwhile, M/I Homes is eyeing a southern expansion of its 95-lot Cadence Park in Sanford near Seminole State College and the Seminole County administration complex. The addition, if approved, would bring roughly 100 more homes to the area.
Wendover Housing Partners is also in the midst of planning to develop another affordable housing community with 84 units in Sanford’s historic Goldsboro neighborhood.
The Gateway Plaza center was purchased through the Greenberg Gibbons Real Estate Income Fund, which launched in March of 2021 to strategically acquire shopping centers throughout the East Coast, Southeast and premier Midwest markets.
This is the fund’s fourth acquisition.
Greenberg Gibbons’ portfolio of properties on its website lists 24 shopping centers on the east coast; 19 of which are located in Maryland. There’s one in Rhode Island, one in Delaware, one in Virginia, one in North Carolina and now — with the recent acquisition of Gateway Plaza — one in Florida.
In total, the company has developed and managed a portfolio of more than 10.6 million square feet of properties, its website says.