A Birmingham, Ala.-based investment firm has purchased a vacant Fort Myers warehouse once leased to Sears, Roebuck & Co. and FedEx, where it plans to recast the property as a self storage facility.
Merchants Retail Partners Management LLC, which is led by a trio of executives formerly with Colonial Properties Trust, a $6 billion real estate investment trust, acquired the 92,164-square-foot property in June for $6.4 million.
It is expected that Merchants Retail Partners may also add additional space onto the 10.3-acre site, at 2670 Colonial Blvd.
Constructed in 1974, the building has been vacant for much of the past year, following tenant FedEx’s departure for a 250,000-square-foot build-to-suit elsewhere in Lee County. FedEx had occupied the property for roughly a decade.
The deal also marks the largest industrial transaction thus far in 2018 in Lee County.
Seller Monmouth Real Estate Investment Corp., an affiliate of New Jersey-based UMH Properties, was represented in the transaction by Lee & Associates|Naples-Fort Myers’ Bob Johnston, Jerry Messonnier and Derek Bornhorst.
Tom Woodyard of Woodyard & Associates negotiated on behalf of Merchants Retail Partners.
“To replace the building would have cost every bit of the amount that they paid, and that would be for the building only,” Johnston says. “And the Colonial Boulevard corridor is really growing in terms of residential, so a self storage project should do well in that location, if that’s the route they take.”