A Dallas real estate investment firm has bought The Shops at Wiregrass in Pasco County.
TriGate Capital paid $70.5 million for the property, according to county records, bucking a recent trend of falling mall prices across the region.
The open-air shopping center is on State Road 56 off of Interstate 75 in Wesley Chapel. It was built in 2008 and counts Macy’s, Dillard’s and JCPenney as anchors as well as a host of other retailers that call traditional malls home. Among them are Hollister, Charlotte Russe, Champ Sports and restaurants Chuck Lager America’s Tavern and GrillSmith New American Grill.
But Wiregrass is not a traditional mall. It is a modern, 800,000-square-foot lifestyle center that is pedestrian-friendly, with shoppers able to walk along sidewalks from store to store as if they were strolling along a downtown shopping district.
TriGate, in LinkedIn post announcing the purchase, says it has hired CBRE to manage leasing and that it plans to make exterior improvements to help attract and retain “desirable” retailers. It does not disclose what the improvements will be.
The price tag for the property is on the very high end for mall properties which have been hard hit value wise.
In the past four years, The Crossings at Siesta Key mall sold for $25.1 million, DeSoto Square in Bradenton sold for $20 million, and Edison Mall in Fort Myers sold for $33 million. In a 2021 study, the commercial real estate analytics firm Green Street found the values of malls fell 35% since 2016.
That Wiregrass can bring more than twice what those other properties sold for is indicative of how it operates differently from a traditional boxed mall that has been going out of favor for years now and how a new approach to building and designing malls works.
It doesn’t hurt, either, that Wiregrass is in Wesley Chapel, one of the fastest growing localities north of Tampa. Just last month, Target announced it was building a 148,000-square-foot store in The Grove at Wesley Chapel, about a 10-minute drive from Wiregrass.
On its website, TriGate says it was founded in 2007 and has bought more than $26 billion in assets and manages four investment funds. Wiregrass was bought “via TriGate’s fourth fully discretionary fund.”
In the LinkedIn post, the company says it “is currently seeking more retail opportunities across the Sunbelt where we can add value through additional capital investment and hands-on management.”