The new owners of the Grove at Wesley Chapel retail center north of Tampa intends to nearly triple the amount of retail space at the 471,279-square-foot property.
Mark Gold, whose MGold Properties teamed with Israeli-based Mishorim Investments to acquire the center for $62.7 million earlier this month, says the duo plans to add as much as 1.3 million square feet of retail and entertainment space and potentially new residences.
The new retail will be developed on 114 acres of vacant land that came with the property, at Interstate 75 and Wesley Chapel Road.
Gold says Mishorim and his company plan to invest $150 million to expand the Grove with a mix of “small unit” stores catering to local merchants and mom-and-pop operators; family-style restaurants; and entertainment such as a bowling alley and trampoline park.
He adds the new space will be developed over the next year.
“The area around Grove at Wesley Chapel has one of the fastest-growing populations in the entire U.S.,” Gold says. “And there are roughly 2,500 new houses that are under construction or soon will be nearby. That’s a situation that you can’t find in many places around the U.S. We think it provides a great opportunity.”
Much of the new retail — from restaurants to the planned trampoline park — will be designed with family experiences in mind, Gold says.
The current space is 87% occupied by retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods; Bed, Bath & Beyond; Best Buy; Ross Dress for Less; T.J. Maxx; Michael’s; Old Navy; PetSmart; and a Cobb Theater Cinebistro.
Barings, the Grove seller and a subsidiary of Mass Mutual with more than $325 billion in assets under management, was represented in the transaction by JLL Retail Capital Markets, after acquiring rival Holliday Fenoglio Fowler L.P. in July.
The legacy deal involved HFF Senior Managing Director and co-head of the firm’s retail practice Daniel Finkle, Managing Director Luis Castillo and Director Eric Williams.
“The opportunity to acquire a large-scale commercial property in a major Florida MSA with significant value-add potential appealed to the market and drove strong investor interest,” says Castillo, in a statement.
Together, Gold and Mishorim, whose stock is traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, have acquired more than 20 mostly retail properties throughout the Southeast U.S.
Gold’s Jacksonville-based company’s portfolio controls more than six million square feet of retail space in Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, Virginia and Tennessee, according to its website.
In Florida, MGold’s holdings are located in Jacksonville, Orlando and Wesley Chapel.