Franklin Street arranged the sale and financing of a 19,493- square-foot retail plaza to a Chinese investor for $4.15 million.
Franklin Street’s Robert Granda, Greg Matus and the South Florida retail investment sales team represented the seller, Balkani, a real estate investment group based in New York. This is the first acquisition for the buyer in the United States.
“Each year, more and more Chinese Investors are discovering South Florida as a place to buy homes, and now they are starting to discover this region as a place to invest in commercial real estate,” said Granda, Franklin Street’s Director of Retail Investment Sales. “I see much more activity on the horizon.”
Last year, Chinese investors purchased more than $27 billion in U.S. properties according to the National Association of Realtors. At the same time, a large independent real estate consulting firm suggested that Miami is positioned to become one of the most attractive places for Chinese investors to invest in real estate outside of traditional gateway cities like Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Chicago.
“I think the Chinese, like many other foreign nationals see the United States as a secure place to invest compared to other countries, and our returns tend to be stronger,” said Matus, Senior Vice President. “And prices in South Florida specifically are much more appetizing than other large U.S. cities. The Chinese tend to like trophy properties, but I think you’ll see more and more desiring to invest in properties like the one in Lauderhill that provide good stable income with the potential for upside.”
The property, located at 6450 West Commercial Boulevard, is anchored by a Tire Kingdom, along with five other automobile-service-related businesses. The buyers had to first secure a special exception from the City of Lauderhill in order to keep the existing tenant mix since such zoning designations are not transferrable.
“The buyers got a tremendous deal on this asset,” said Granda, “Not only do they obtain a building in a highly visible area with a credit-worthy anchor in place for the next several years, but they also have the opportunity to develop an additional five-thousand square feet on the parcel at some point. I would say they purchased a solid deal for their very first real estate investment in the U.S.”
Granda said the buyers are now seeking to buy their second property in Broward. In addition to brokering the real estate deal, Franklin Street, in conjunction with Banyan Capital, also arranged financing for the buyer through Banco Popular.
Since January, Franklin Street’s Robert Granda and the South Florida retail investment sales team has sold more than 100,000 square feet of retail space in Florida valued at over $20 million. Transactions have taken place in Lauderhill, Plantation, Lake City, Plant City and Cocoa Beach.