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Winn-Dixie Warehouse Sale Breaks Tampa Record

Joint-venture partners Meridian Cos. and Hudson Realty Capital L.L.C. closed today on one of the largest properties in the Tampa Bay area in nearly a decade. They acquired a 948,578-square-foot former Winn-Dixie warehouse in Sarasota, Fla., with plans to convert the facility into a multi-tenant space.

Meridian president Steven Kossoff told CPN this afternoon that his company will conduct $2.5 million worth of renovations at the industrial property, redeveloping it to house four to six tenants in spaces measuring at least 100,000 square feet. "This property is timing the market perfectly," he said. "There's a drastic shortage of 200,000-square-foot spaces in the area. So we hope to reposition the facility for the market and get it leased up quickly."

The warehouse was purchased for $30 million, or $31.63 per square foot, from a Wachovia Corp. holding company. The space has been sitting vacant since October 2004, when Winn-Dixie closed operations there. Kossoff said he expects that going forward retail support firms will be attracted to the institutional-grade distribution space, especially because of its location. "The area between Naples and Tampa has become one of the fastest-growing parts of Florida," he said.

The transaction represents Meridian's second in the Tampa market and its first with capital partner Hudson Realty. In September 2005, Meridian bought a Lakeland, Fla., industrial property from Duke Realty Corp. for $7.6 million.

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