C&W Sells Premier Savannah Shopping Center on Auction.com

Cushman & Wakefield’s Retail Investment Advisors, along with Auction.com, have facilitated the sale of Abercorn Common, a 185,244-square-foot community shopping center in Savannah, Ga.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Retail Investment Advisors, along with Auction.com, have facilitated the sale of Abercorn Common, a 185,244-square-foot community shopping center in Savannah, Ga.

Local real estate investor David Garfunkel purchased the property, located at the intersection of Abercorn Street and White Bluff Road, from a Special Purpose Entity controlled by LNR Partners, L.L.C. for $24.2 million.

“The perception is that commercial real estate auctions are utilized to sell smaller distressed assets,” Gary T. Saykaly, a senior director with Cushman & Wakefield’s Southeast Capital Markets Group, told Commercial Property Executive. “This sale was a great example of how an experienced investment brokerage team can achieve market equivalent pricing on larger higher quality assets through Auction.com.”

“In my opinion, a skilled investment broker with strong property and market level insight, positioning expertise and access to a deep base of motivated investors will always be invaluable and accretive to the sale process,” he continued. “However, for this transaction, Auction.com’s platform provided transparency to the 131 investors reviewing the offering and certainty of closing for the seller. It was a very positive experience for our team.”

Garfunkel is a managing member of A.J. & C. Garfunkel & Co. L.L.C., which is the parent company of David Garfunkel & Co. L.L.C.

“Our company is a 104-year-old family owned business that operates holdings in 11 states. Our home office is in Savannah and is located five minutes from Abercorn Common,” Garfunkel told CPE. “We currently own Twelve Oaks Shopping Center and lease and manage Largo Plaza. They are both strong 100 percent leased Publix anchored shopping centers and Abercorn Common is our piece de resistance.”

Abercorn Common, which underwent a $30 million expansion in 2006, was the first retail center to receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification.

It is considered one of Savannah’s premier retail centers, ideally situated at one of the city’s busiest intersections adjacent to the Oglethorpe Mall, which has an average daily traffic count exceeding 90,000 cars.

At the time of the sale, the shopping center was 96 percent leased, including tenants such as TJ Maxx Home Goods, Michael’s, Office Depot, Party City, ULTA, Ashley Furniture, McDonalds, Firehouse Subs, and Panera Bread.

The former owners lost three main tenants. Circuit City, World Bazaar, and Loco’s Deli and were unable to make their debt service.

“There was never a problem with the property,” Garfunkel said. “Circuit City was back- filled with Ashley Furniture; World Bazaar was back-filled with Party City. We have a lease pending for the Loco’s space.”

In the hands of a new owner, plans for the center include filling the shopping center’s two vacancies and a freshening up of the outside.

“We plan to make any cosmetic repairs and refresh the landscaping,” Garfunkel added. “We plan to continue to keep the shopping center green and let others use it as their model for sustainable growth.”

Mark Gilbert, Gary Saykaly and Adam Feinstein were the Cushman & Wakefield investment brokers who were representing the seller on an exclusive basis.