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Business Observer Thursday, May 6, 2021 4 months ago

Saudi billionaire's son sells St. Pete shopping center for $5.3 million

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The 23,000-square-foot center on 4th Street North sold to local real estate investor Ben Mallah

ST. PETERSBURG - A St. Petersburg retail and office complex owned by a joint venture that includes the son of a Saudi billionaire has been sold.

The 23,000-square-foot center on 4th Street North sold for $5.3 million. Miami-based Limestone Asset Management bought the property in 2016 for $2.6 million.

The property has an assessed value of $3.44 million, according to the website for the Pinellas County Property Appraiser’s office.

Limestone Asset Management is partly owned by South Florida businessman and philanthropist Ibrahim Al-Rashid — the son of Saudi billionaire Dr. Nasser Ibrahim Al-Rashid.

The company, which was founded in 2010 to acquire and invest in commercial and mixed-use property nationwide, includes Ibrahim Al-Rashid’s brothers, Salman Al-Rashid and Mohammad Al-Rashid. 

Limestone is a joint venture with Miami-based Orion Real Estate Group.

It currently has about $200 million in assets in the United States.

In September, Limestone bought two retail properties in St. Armand’s Key – 62 St. Armands Circle and 371 St. Armands Circle – for $15.5 million.

The St. Petersburg center was sold to local investor Ben Mallah of Equity Management Partners.

Mallah is a well-known commercial real estate investor who bought The Shops at John’s Pass, a Madeira Beach tourist attraction, in 2019 for $17.2 million.

The center, which is across the street from Sunken Gardens and north of downtown St. Petersburg, is fully leased. Tenants include Outback Steakhouse and Panera Bread.

A press release announcing the sale says the property and its leases gives “the buyer a stable cash flow from established tenants and a significant upside potential in below-market rents in one of St. Petersburg’s iconic commercial properties.”

Kevin Sanz, president of Orion, did not reply to an email seeking comment on why the center, given that upside, was put up for sale.

Ibrahim Al-Rashid, Limestone’s chairman, said in a statement that St. Petersburg is “growing and continues to be a desirable market for real estate investors.”

Ibrahim Al-Rashid and his family, according to the Miami Herald, have given millions to the University of Miami, where Al-Rashid is an alum. That includes donating $10 million for the school’s Dr. Nasser Ibrahim Al-Rashid Orbital Vision Research Center in 2012.

The newspaper reported last year that Ibrahim Al-Rashid, whose mother is Lebanese-French socialite Mouna Ayoub, paid $6.3 million for the house next door to his home on Hibiscus Island on Miami Beach.

Ibrahim Al-Rashid planned to tear down the 6,000-square-foot house, the Herald reported, and replace it with a private gym and spa.

Then in February, Al-Rashid told the Herald that he paid $6 million for a 5,427-square-foot single-family home on a 10,500-square-foot waterfront lot that month.

The paper wrote that the house is two doors down from his main house.

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