Sunday, April 22, 2018
Business

Seminole Mall owners consolidate more property

SEMINOLE — The owners of Seminole Mall have bought two office buildings at the edge of their property to be integrated into a redesign of the site.

Details of a potential redevelopment are still unclear, although owners have hired an architect to come up with a master plan, said Dale Johnson, director of development and construction for Primerica Group One. Primerica has partnered with mall owner Seminole Mall LP and Primerica Developments, a Tampa-based company whose primary focus is on the development or redevelopment of shopping centers, to revamp the property.

Johnson said developers are tweaking a potential site plan. The tweaking, she said, comes with consultation with potential national tenants who want to have input. Johnson said the developers hope to have enough of a plan within the next 60 days to sit down with Seminole city officials to hammer out details.

"There are a lot of moving parts," Johnson said.

Mark Ely, director of the city's community development department, said the purchase of the two office buildings is one of several factors that could indicate the long-anticipated redevelopment of the mall may be about to happen.

"Everybody knew they were looking," Ely said of the office building properties. The purchase, he said, allows them to consolidate the land with the remainder of the property. It's a good thing, he said, when developers can consolidate smaller pieces in a larger tract they want to redevelop. In this case, he said, it also gets the mall owners out from under a longstanding agreement between the mall and the former owners of the buildings that no redevelopment could take place without accommodating parking for the offices.

Also, Ely said, the exclusivity agreement that Publix (formerly in the center) had with mall owners ends Dec. 31.

That means a grocery store could theoretically be part of any redevelopment, he said.

Built in the mid 1960s, the 425,292-square-foot mall at the northeast corner of Park Boulevard and 113th Street N was the center of activity in Seminole and came to be considered the city's downtown. That's when its anchors, Kmart, Publix, Bealls, Stein Mart and Ross, and smaller stores did a brisk business.

But in recent years, the mall has struggled. Smaller stores closed first. Then came the larger stores. Publix left in 2009, moving across the street to a former Albertsons. A bank holding company foreclosed on the mall's mortgage in 2011. Kmart left last year. Bealls, Ross and Stein Mart are still there.

Seminole Mall LP, a Delaware limited partnership, bought the mall last year for $14.6 million, about 59 percent less than the $35.7 million the previous owner, Downtown Seminole, paid in 2006. Seminole Mall LP is run out of the Palm Beach office of North American Development Group, a multinational corporation that specializes in the development, redevelopment and management of shopping centers.

Last week, Seminole Office LP bought the two office buildings at 7997 and 7999 113th St. N, on the northwest edge of the mall property, for about $1.98 million. The former owner, Seminole Office Center Inc., bought 7999 113th St. for about $3.5 million in 1998, according to Pinellas County Property Appraiser records. It has an assessed value of about $625,000. Seminole Office Center bought 7997 113th St. for about $1.6 million in 1999. It has an assessed value of about $1.4 million.

Seminole Office LP is a Delaware corporation also run out of the Palm Beach office of North American Development Group.

Anne Lindberg can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8450.

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