August 2016

  • Aug
    12

Trader Joe’s? Publix?: New construction and new market heading to Woodlands Square

August 12, 2016

via the Tampa Bay Times by Piper Castillo

OLDSMAR — Trader Joe’s? Safeway? Whole Foods Market?

Although the name has yet to be revealed, hurdles are being cleared to give Oldsmar a new place to load up on groceries. Although the specific store has not been identified, other facts have been disclosed, including the exact location. Its home will be Woodlands Square, right next to Beall’s.

The City Council recently approved a development agreement with Woodlands Square Community Reinvestment Partners allowing for the renovation of the shopping center at 3130 Tampa Road. The center, more than 30 years old, is about a half-mile from Canal Park and is most known for AMC Woodlands 20, a popular movie theater last renovated in 2000.

In front of the council, Mark Van Dyke, the director of development for Ram Realty Services, owner of Woodlands Square, reviewed the timeline for the project, with a goal of opening for business by September 2017.

“We are securing the grocery store,” he said. “We plan to start demolition right after the first of the year. We’ll get through the holiday season and will then commence on construction of the grocery store.”

Along with the mystery store, new construction of another retail space, totalling 10,500 square feet, is also planned. Brian Maloney, managing director of Ram Reality, said the standalone store will be at the center of the current parking lot and will serve as a connecting point. It will be a store where people will want to enter after leaving Beall’s, for example, shop through and exit towards Marshalls without having to walk too far.

“Right now there’s a lot of parking lot space, and this will be a store that moves people from one part of the shopping center to another easier,” he said.

To make way for new construction, a portion of the west side of Woodlands Square, with several vacant stores, will be torn down. Current tenants on the west side will be moved to another site on the property.

The project also includes updating storefront exteriors as well as renovating some of the interior of the movie theater, including widening the aisles.

Another highlight will be a constructed pathway with signage to improve pedestrian and bike access between Woodlands Square and Canal Park, with its BMX Supercross track and sports fields.

“The details haven’t been worked out yet, but the idea of including a walkway came about from the idea of connecting the community’s open space with the community’s shopping space,” Maloney said.

  • Aug
    4

Ram buys Triangle shopping center

August 4, 2016

via The Triangle Business Journal by Amanda Hoyle

A Florida real estate investment and development firm has paid $17.75 million for a Chapel Hill shopping center that’s in the heart of ongoing redevelopment within the Ephesus-Fordham District in Chapel Hill.

Ram Realty Services has bought the Village Plaza retail center building anchored by O2 Fitness and a series of small shops on Elliott Road from an investment fund long-managed by Mark Properties of Durham.

The nearly 68,000-square-foot retail center was 95 percent occupied at the time of the deal. Other tenants include Great Harvest Bread, Market Street Coffee and Monterrey Mexican.

The property, built in 1965, is south of the Whole Foods-anchored retail center also called Village Plaza, as well as the new Village Plaza Apartments project being developed by East West Partners of Chapel Hill. The new apartment building is adding 265 new apartment units and another 15,000 square feet of retail space once complete, plus a parking deck for residents and retail shoppers.

In 2014, Chapel Hill Town Council created the Ephesus-Fordham District, a 190-acre zoning district that stretches along E. Franklin Street, Ephesus Church Road and Fordham Boulevard that has its own form-based code. The new rules were designed to encourage redevelopment of the retail strip centers, parking lots and confusing roadways built up over time in the area since the 1950s.

The Village Plaza acquisition is the second major investment by Ram Realty Partners in the Triangle in the past year. The group also acquired the mixed-use Pavilion East complex in Erwin Road in Durham in December for $41 million and is developing a 263-unit apartment building on the Durham property.

“Our confidence in the Triangle’s long-term growth prospects has never been higher,” stated Ram CEO Casey Cummings in a news release about the deal. “The Triangle’s unique combination of higher learning institutions and respected employers has created attractive economic conditions for development and value-add investment.”

Mike Burkard and Steve Shields of CBRE’s Charlotte office represented the seller, Mark Properties, in the transaction.