Merchants Retail Partners LLC (MRP), a development and acquisition-investment platform owned by insurance provider Protective Life Insurance Corp., has purchased a vacant warehouse in Fort Meyers, Fla., that it plans to convert to self storage. The company acquired the 10.3-acre site in June for $6.4 million. In addition to converting the building, MRP could erect additional structures on the property, according to the source.
The building at 2670 Colonial Blvd. was constructed in 1974 and comprises 92,164 square feet. FedEx leased the property for a decade before vacating it a year ago. Prior to that, it was leased to Sears, Roebuck & Co.
The deal is considered the largest industrial real estate transaction in Lee County, Fla., this year, the source reported. MRP was represented by Tom Woodyard, principal of Woodyard & Associates LLC. The seller, Monmouth Real Estate Investment Corp., an affiliate of New Jersey-based UMH Properties Inc., was represented by Derek Bornhorst, Bob Johnston and Jerry Messonnier, brokers for Lee & Associates of Naples-Fort Myers.
“To replace the building would have cost every bit of the amount that they paid, and that would be for the building only,” Johnston said. “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.”
Birmingham, Ala.-based MRP is led by three former executives of Colonial Properties Trust, a publicly traded, diversified real estate investment trust. The company focuses primarily on retail and mixed-use real estate, providing market analysis and void analytics, acquisition, development, construction management, leasing and property management.