With Interest Rates At Historic Lows, Aztec Group Secures $27 Million For 3 South Florida Shopping Centers

Aztec Group, Inc. has completed $27 million in permanent financing for three South Florida shopping centers.
The properties are a retail complex in Hialeah Gardens, the redevelopment of the former Hollywood Fashion Mall in Hollywood to be anchored by a Walmart Supercenter, and a Tamarac shopping center that will soon house a new Walmart Neighborhood Market.
The Aztec team of Managing Directors Jason Shapiro and Jim Fried and Director Sean Harrington secured the financing on behalf of the borrower, a locally-owned retail investment group.
In the largest financing deal, the team secured a $12 million permanent loan for Royal Gardens Plaza, a recently-completed 75,000-square-foot shopping center anchored by supermarket Aldi and a Ross Dress for Less store. Located at the southeast corner of Hialeah Gardens Boulevard and West 80th Street, the retail center also has in its tenant roster Dollar General, Discovery Clothing, America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses and Pollo Tropical.
The team additionally executed an $11.53 million loan on behalf of the same ownership for part of the redevelopment of the former Hollywood Fashion Mall, which will comprise a large shopping complex anchored by a 182,000-square-foot Walmart Supercenter. This financing was solely for the Walmart Supercenter component of redeveloped shopping center.

“With this transaction, we were able to secure an attractive 20-year fixed rate loan term for the client. One of the benefits and unique qualities of credit tenant lease financing, like for Walmart, is that interest rates can be locked in advance of the property being built and having current cash flow. These terms are based on the credit strength of the tenant and a signed lease,” explained Jason Shapiro, Managing Director at Aztec Group.

Located at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and State Road 441 in Western Broward County, the 40-acre site is currently undergoing the final stages of demolition. Walmart will ground lease approximately 19 acres for development of a Supercenter that will provide grocery items, fresh produce and general merchandise. Once completed, the shopping center will feature restaurants, shops, and other typical services, such as banking and dry cleaners. So far, tenants expected to have a presence at the center include Pollo Tropical, TD Bank and gas station RaceTrac.

“The redevelopment of the former Hollywood Fashion Mall will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood following the mall’s closing about 10 years ago,” said Sean Harrington, Director at Aztec Group. “The Walmart-anchored shopping center will offer a mix of retail services that will enhance the quality of life of local residents and serve as a catalyst for future investment in this community.”

In the third transaction, the Aztec team secured a $3.8 million loan for the existing Tamarac Square West Shopping Center located on the northwest corner of Pine Island Road and McNab Road. The center consists of 120,000 square feet of retail space that includes an end-cap parcel of land slated for a 42,000-square-foot Walmart Neighborhood Market.
The shopping center is home to tenants including discount store Family Dollar, soft serve ice cream and fast food chain Dairy Queen and automotive service retailer The Tire Choice. Formerly anchored by a Baby Love store, the end-cap box space was demolished and ground leased to Walmart for the development of a new Neighborhood Market that will offer affordable groceries and convenience services to the neighboring Tamarac community.
The permanent financing for the Hollywood and Tamarac transactions was provided by a Chicago-based Credit Tenant Lease financing group, while the Hialeah Gardens shopping center financing was provided by a balance-sheet life insurance company based in the Midwest.

“With interest rates at historic lows, the lending environment is very attractive for this type of financing, particularly when you have a tenant with investment-grade credit like Walmart,” said Jim Fried of Aztec Group. “The addition of a supermarket brand like Walmart to the Tamarac Square property will complement the existing tenant roster, while offering shoppers once again an anchor supermarket to meet their shopping needs.”



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