New Owners on a Quest for a Total Transformation at Lake Square Mall
LEESBURG, Fla., March 6, 2018 (Newswire.com) - Meir Benzaken, began his real estate career in 1987 building, selling, renting and rehabilitating single family and multi-family homes in Montreal, Canada. After attending law school and obtaining his General Contractor and Real Estate Brokers licenses in the early 1990’s, Mr. Benzaken began acquiring, revitalizing and re-purposing residential and commercial properties in South Florida.
Mr. Benzaken leveraged several successful projects and in 2003 founded the accomplished real estate firm Exclusive Management and Properties, Inc. (EMPI), in Pompano Beach, Florida. EMPI has developed a strong, respected presence in the competitive Florida market. EMPI is committed to assisting investor clients to advance their financial goals through an array of customized real estate transactions and specialized services.
Lake Square Mall Purchased. Lake Square Mall has been a landmark in the Leesburg community for decades. The much-publicized acquisition of the 620,000 square foot, Lake Square Mall, in Leesburg, Florida, during the fall of 2017, for $23 million, sets in motion significant upgrades for the mall’s revitalization.
We see a lot of potential, a lot of future here.
The Group. The new ownership group is comprised of strategic partners including a RE broker, a general contractor, a financial analyst, an attorney, a retail executive, a food & beverage operator, and a commercial HVAC contractor, each providing technical expertise, accelerated scheduling and significant value.
Using this strategic partner synergy, the new owner’s plan is to focus on rebuilding the mall and its tenant mix to become a prime “destination for entertainment”, according to a news article published in the Orlando Sentinel. Following will be the development of multiple available out-parcels.
Meir Benzaken plans to initially invest between $3 and $5 million for improvements to the property, to include facade upgrades, two architecturally inspired, modern glass canopies, providing covered entry for visitors, and a rejuvenated interior. Phase 2 is anticipated to require an additional $8 million, and Phase 3 an additional $18 million in investment.
Within sixty days of closing, the new ownership developed a strong strategic alliance with the City of Leesburg to provide economic incentives pivotal to bringing the most desired retail, restaurant and entertainment opportunities to the mall.
Lake Square Mall is on a fast track to reducing vacancy by procuring commitments from five new specialty retailers. Local residents and consumers are eager for the new stores to open in Mid-March. “I’m really excited about the plans I’ve heard for our mall. I can’t wait. I can’t wait. I can’t wait.” said longtime Leesburg resident Megan Black, recently at the Community Meet & Greet.
Career History. EMPI initiated their residential success, with the renovation and rehabilitation of a 112-unit townhome complex. The project was burdened with obstacles created by the City of Sunrise’s restrictive “abandoned property” designation but was deftly overcome by implementing forward-thinking strategies. Following were other residential projects including a 192-unit condominium complex in Lauderhill, Florida and a 96-unit apartment development in Fort Lauderdale.
The company seamlessly expanded their acquisition model to target retail and shopping center assets. In addition to the acquisition of Lake Square Mall, Mr. Benzaken and associates have purchased a 300,000 square foot shopping center in Lauderdale Lakes, two class A retail properties in Parkland and Margate, plus own and operate multiple other properties including offices, industrial warehouses and vacant land suitable for development.
Mr. Benzaken’s personal and business philosophies merge to shape project decisions and development components. Mr. Benzaken is a staunch believer in giving back and significant community goodwill is represented in projects including the Infill Program in Miami Dade County, the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), Aging out of Foster Care, and From Homeless to Homeowner, in Fort Lauderdale. All programs included acquiring, constructing and rehabilitating low to moderate housing and vacant lots, and providing places to live for the economically challenged.
In addition, Mr. Benzaken has researched, studied and implemented sustainable design strategies with the goal of creating properties which contribute to the health, comfort, and productivity of an everchanging world.
Contact. For more information on Meir Benzaken and his related entities, or to inquire about real estate investment opportunities, or to become a valued tenant, please call (352) 787.1200.
Source: Lake Square Mall