An affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies has purchased a shopping strip near the ball club’s Clearwater spring training lpark.
An entity linked to the team acquired the 13-acre retail site at 21688 U.S. 19 N., called the Clearwater Collection, for $22.5 million.
The retail center, which fell into bankruptcy, is vacant with the exception of the Floor and Decor store, according to Avison Young.
The seller was Clearwater Collection 15 LLC, an entity controlled by Avison Young Principal Michael Vullis, who acted as the court-appointed receiver for the retail center.
The purchase comes after the Phillies organization pitched a plan to Clearwater officials on upgrading the city-owned BayCare Ballpark, which is also home to the minor league Clearwater Threshers. Officials said the updated complex could represent a $300 million overhaul; however, that’s a very early projection, without specifics.
While plans for the new acquired nearby site have not been disclosed, the strategic move allows the team to have control of redevelopment opportunities, according to Avison Young.
John Crotty, a principal with Avison Young who brokered the sale, said there were aggressive offers from different groups vying to purchase the site, which was marketed for at least 60 days.
“People looked at it for repositioning the retail. We had multifamily developers look at it as a great location to be in the market and mixed-use developers contemplated building an office with housing and small retail. This is really an exciting site,” he said to the St. Pete Catalyst.
The group associated with the Phillies stepped up to the plate earlier this year, emerging as the top contender.
“They had the highest offer,” Crotty said. “Despite the bankruptcy, the buyer was very professional and efficient. The buyer is someone who has a real connection to the community.”
The site went under contract in the late spring/early summer.
The sole active tenant, Floor and Decor, occupies 49% of the retail space and is expected to remain as its lease is effective through 2027.
The site is currently zoned for residential, office, retail and entertainment, according to Avison Young’s brochure.