Winn-Dixie Center in Fort Lauderdale Lands $17M Refi

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Galt Ocean Marketplace, a 105,589-square-foot grocery-anchored retail center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., secured a $17 million refinance, CBRE said Thursday.

The property at 3700-4032 North Ocean Boulevard is 96 percent occupied, with a 41,000-square-foot Winn-Dixie supermarket as the anchor tenant.

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Winn-Dixie, for its part, has lost its luster during a decades-long decline, shedding market share to Publix Supermarkets along the way, but a proposed acquisition by a fast-growing rival could bring back some of its shine.

Discount grocer Aldi announced in August that it was acquiring several hundred stores operating under the Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket brands from Southeastern Grocers, headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla.

The pending ownership change could make the venerable grocer a more viable tenant. 

While the companies have yet to announce whether the deal has closed, the merger could make the struggling supermarket chain more attractive to investors and lenders, said Paul Ahmed, a senior vice president in CBRE Capital Markets’ Debt and Structured Finance group.

“The way [the lenders are] looking at it is that’s accretive to the transaction,” Ahmed told Commercial Observer.

The new mortgage for Galt Ocean Marketplace was underwritten based on Southeastern Grocers as the tenant. But the lender, Seacoast National Bank of Stuart, Fla., sees potential upside should fast-growing Aldi take over Winn-Dixie, Ahmed said.

For now, though, it’s unclear what the Aldi deal might mean for Winn-Dixie’s operations in South Florida.

Ahmed and Mackenzie Lampman of CBRE represented the borrower, Kitson & Partners of Palm Beach Gardens, in the transaction. Kitson & Partners refinanced because its existing mortgage was maturing.

Other tenants at Galt Ocean Marketplace include CVS, Holy Cross Hospital and McDonald’s.

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