Publix-Anchored Shopping Center in Delray Beach Changes Hands, Adds Big-Box Tenant

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Delray Square, a recently renovated retail center at the northeast corner of West Atlantic Avenue and South Military Trail in Delray Beach, Fla., sold this week, according to the new owner.

The 157,000-square-foot center is anchored by Publix Super Markets, which occupies 45,600 square feet. Arts and crafts chain Hobby Lobby will be a tenant when it moves into a 52,000-square-foot space just north of Publix.

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The seller of Delray Square is an affiliate of The Keith Corp. of Charlotte, N.C. The new owner is Sleiman Enterprises of Jacksonville, Fla. Sleiman declined to disclose the sales price, but a deed recorded Friday placed the price at $48 million.

Sleiman owns 97 properties from Virginia to South Florida. The company has been on the hunt for grocery-anchored centers, Michael McNaughton, COO of Sleiman, told Commercial Observer.

“We’re selling non-core assets and acquiring longer-term, investment-grade assets across the Southeast,” he said.

Delray Square, at 4751 West Atlantic Avenue, was built in 1976. In 2019, The Keith Corp. concluded a major renovation that included demolition of an old Publix space and construction of the new Publix store, along with a renovated roof for the space Hobby Lobby will occupy.

Publix is the dominant grocer in Florida, fending off competition from Winn-Dixie, Walmart, Whole Foods, Aldi and others. Even before the pandemic, investor demand was keen for shopping centers anchored by the homegrown chain.

The Delray Square sale involved several parcels. Tenants in the buildings acquired by Sleiman include Carvel, AT&T and Chipotle.

Not included in the deal are outparcels occupied by Chase, Walgreens and Autozone. Also not part of the sale is a building at the north end of the plaza that includes Planet Fitness as a tenant.

Reflecting that intersection’s desirability to retailers, Sprouts Farmers Market is moving into the Delray Landing project at the southwest corner of Atlantic and Military.

Jeff Ostrowski can be reached at jostrowski@commercialobserver.com.