Monday, October 15, 2018
Business

Apartment developer buys portions of Gulf View Square mall

PORT RICHEY — A Miami company specializing in apartment complexes has acquired two vacant department stores at Gulf View Square mall on U.S. 19.

B & Z of Port Richey, a company newly formed by the principals of Dorvidor Management Co. of Miami, bought the former Macy’s and JCPenney stores for a combined $3.55 million. The stores and parking lots on the west side of the mall total 18.54 acres.

Spencer Bertram of Dorvidor said the company was not ready to reveal its plans.

"I believe that we will be in a position to publicize our plan for the purchased parcels in about 30 days,’’ he said via email.

The company purchased the vacant store from Macy’s for $1.75 million in January and paid $1.8 million to the mall owners for the former JCPenney store, according to a deed recorded Feb. 19. The JCPenney store closed in 2014 and Macy’s in the spring of 2015.

The acquisitions sparked speculation that a portion of the mall could be redeveloped as a walkable lifestyle center, combining residential and commercial uses. That is the vision Pasco County suggested to prior mall owners as part of the Harbors redevelopment plan for west Pasco.

"If you look, that’s what they (new owners) do. They’re not trying to keep it as a mall, I don’t know how you do that with the retail climate today,’’ said Greg Armstrong of Coldwell Banker F.I. Grey & Son Residential, Inc. "Personally, I don’t like it, but as a real estate broker that’s what’s happening. All of retail shopping is struggling astronomically, but I am glad it’s being redeveloped and not boarded up. That was my fear.’’

Dorvidor is familiar with west Pasco and the Tampa Bay region. The company purchased Park Place Port Richey in 2013. The 420-unit apartment complex near Embassy Boulevard and U.S. 19 is within walking distance of the mall. The company’s holdings also include apartment complexes in Brandon and Largo.

The strategy in Brandon may give a hint to its plans in Port Richey. In Brandon, the company built a new 72-unit complex in 2015 next to its existing property which "significantly reduced marginal operating expenses through shared operations between the two properties,’’ according to the company’s web site.

The Edward J. DeBartolo Corp. developed Gulf View Square mall at 9409 U.S. 19, opening its doors in 1980 as the center of retail commerce in west Pasco. It has been sold three times since, most recently in February 2017 to Namdar Realty Group of Long Island, N.Y., which purchased it for $15 million. Namdar retains ownership of most of the remainder of the mall.

The mall’s Web site, shopgulfviewsquare.com, directs visitors to its Facebook page "for the most recent information.’’ But the Facebook page hasn’t been updated since Feb. 20, 2017. In August, mall management took to social media to discount rumors the mall would close after Christmas.

"I understand it is an ongoing problem regarding issues of the mall closing, please disregard any and all rumors,’’’ said an Aug. 9 tweet from "mall management.’’

Gulf View Square’s remaining anchors are Dillard’s and Sears, both of which own their own stores in the mall.

The interest from apartment builders is indicative of the Tampa Bay region’s hot market for multifamily housing. Real Data of Charlotte, N.C., an apartment market research firm, reported in November that the region absorbed more than 5,800 multifamily units over the prior year, outpacing new construction and leaving a vacancy rate of just 4.1 percent. Average monthly rents were reported at $1,154.

"No matter how many we build,’’ said Armstrong, "They fill them up.’’

Reach C.T. Bowen at [email protected] or (813) 435-7306. Follow @CTBowen2

RELATED: Tenants see hope for mall.

Comments
Tampa’s last Sears survived bankruptcy closings, but Westshore Plaza is dropping Sears anyway

Tampa’s last Sears survived bankruptcy closings, but Westshore Plaza is dropping Sears anyway

Sears’ long-foreshadowed bankruptcy filing Monday came with the blow that more than 140 of its remaining 700 locations would be closed in a bid to save the once robust and venerable chain of department stores.But some locations not even on the list —...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Early Hurricane Michael claims: 38,000, $5.7M in damages

Early Hurricane Michael claims: 38,000, $5.7M in damages

As Panhandle residents began making their way back home over the weekend, clearer damage estimates began to arise: According to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, about 38,000 claims have been submitted for Hurricane Michael damage and $5.7 ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Fish Tales Seafood House in St. Peterburg closes after nearly 20 years in business

Fish Tales Seafood House in St. Peterburg closes after nearly 20 years in business

Fish Tales Seafood House in St. Petersburg has closed its doors after nearly 20 years in business, the restaurant announced on its Facebook page Monday."It is with a heavy heart that I have to write this, but write it I must," the Facebook post state...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Tampa International Airport tops 20 million passengers in a year; St. Pete-Clearwater has biggest September ever

Tampa International Airport tops 20 million passengers in a year; St. Pete-Clearwater has biggest September ever

Tampa International Airport has surpassed the 20 million-passenger mark for the first time ever, closing out its budget year with more than 21 million passengers over a 12-month period.The airport exceeded its own expectations on Sept. 30 when it end...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Florida citrus expected to see 76 percent yield jump this season

Florida citrus expected to see 76 percent yield jump this season

This time last year, Florida was facing projections of its lowest orange yield in 75 years after the state’s citrus industry was ravaged by Hurricane Irma. But the most recent projections aren’t nearly as sour.The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s fir...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Drugmakers to disclose prices for medicines advertised on TV

Drugmakers to disclose prices for medicines advertised on TV

TRENTON, N.J. — Dozens of drugmakers will start disclosing the prices for U.S. prescription drugs advertised on TV. The prices won’t actually be shown in the TV commercials but the advertisement will include a website where the list price will be pos...
Published: 10/15/18
Hurricane Michael reminds us it’s past time to get smarter about where we build

Hurricane Michael reminds us it’s past time to get smarter about where we build

Avoidance is a great way to mitigate risk. As in, get out of trouble’s way, or don’t be there to begin with. When it comes to hurricanes, that good advice is getting harder to heed. In Florida, we continue to build along our coasts, ofte...
Published: 10/15/18
Sears files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy amid plunging sales, massive debt

Sears files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy amid plunging sales, massive debt

NEW YORK — Sears has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, buckling under its massive debt load and staggering losses. Sears once dominated the American retail landscape. But the big question is whether the shrunken version of itself can be via...
Published: 10/15/18
Candidates for Pinellas commission race pause to help with natural disasters

Candidates for Pinellas commission race pause to help with natural disasters

As Election Day nears, the candidates for Pinellas County Commission have shifted from campaigning to helping residents deal with the aftermath of natural disasters.Democrat Amy Kedron held a town hall meeting and helped draft policies for businesses...
Published: 10/15/18
The Times 2019 Medicare Guide

The Times 2019 Medicare Guide

It has four main parts, labeled A, B, C and D. But after that, the rules can be wickedly complex. Nearly 60 million people are using it right now. And with an estimated 10,000 people reaching age 65 each day in the U.S., that number is growing fast.S...
Published: 10/15/18