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FDIC auctions 2 strip centers

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has unloaded two struggling strip centers in Hernando County.

Sun Plaza, 4003 Mariner Blvd. in Spring Hill, and Candlelight Center, 19200 on the State Road 50 truck route in Brooksville, were sold Tuesday night at an auction in Orlando.

Dianne Waldron, owner of Killingsworth Insurance and Real Estate in Brooksville, bought the the 31,750-square-foot Candlelight Center for $852,500.

Waldron said she plans to move her office on S Broad Street to the Candlelight Center early next year. "I thought it was a new up and coming location, with the new Kmart going in (across the street)," Waldron said. "The town seems to be moving that way."

Waldron plans to spend more than $50,000 on landscaping and renovations and hopes to have the center fully occupied by next year. The center is about 36 percent occupied.

Stephen Leonard, a Spring Hill dentist, signed a contract to buy Sun Plaza, which is more than 7,000 square feet.

Leonard also plans to move his office into the Sun Plaza building. He currently is in the Seven Hills Center.

"I've always wanted to own my own building so I don't have to worry about rents going up," he said.

Sun Plaza is about 60 percent occupied.

The centers were built by David Lee and William Stoops in the late '80s. The FDIC acquired the properties after the lender that financed the construction of the centers went belly up.

Carolyn Thomas Stewart, broker with Brooksville-based Remax Masters Realty, which brokered the sale agreements, said the prices were about what she expected.

"I really think it was a good deal for both sides," she said.

Stewart said several investors were interested in the centers.

The FDIC has hired Fisher Auction Co. of Pompano Beach to sell the remaining Florida assets of failed financial institutions.

"This was the last major FDIC auction of financial assets in Florida," Stewart said.

The centers' buyers had to pay 10 percent of the purchase price Tuesday night. They have two months to pay the balance, either from their own sources or from a loan from the FDIC, Stewart said.