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Route 1 shopping center in Falmouth to be sold

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Route 1 shopping center in Falmouth to be sold

FALMOUTH — After years of changing tenants, the Falmouth Shopping Center may soon be changing owners.

A central point along the busy U.S. Route 1 corridor, the shopping center is in the process of being sold to an undisclosed buyer, according to Jonathan Diamandis, a property manager with JPA Management.

JPA, based in Braintree, Mass., operates the shopping center on behalf of owner Falmouth Realty Associates. Diamandis declined to provide further detail.

"Both parties are performing due diligence, so there's still work to be done before the sale can be completed," he said Tuesday.

The shopping center includes more than 200,000 square feet of retail and office space, anchored by a Shaw's supermarket. Built in 1962, the shopping center also has been home to branches of Kmart, King's, and Ames department stores. In 2006, Shaw's moved to a new location within the center, as it underwent major renovations.

Despite the renovations, the center has struggled with growing competition in recent years from newer Route 1 shopping destinations, including The Shops at Falmouth Village and Walmart. Today, prime storefronts sit vacant, and parking spots often are empty.

The future direction of the shopping center is on the minds of tenants, and has long been of interest to the town.

For example, in 2009 the Town Council commissioned a public opinion study on the possible redevelopment of the center. The study identified filling vacancies as a key priority before any expansion took place.

While it's too early to tell how the potential sale of the shopping center may affect that goal, tenant Donna Williams is cautiously optimistic.

"We're anxious for the stores to be filled," said Williams, co-owner and manager of The Book Review, which has been in the shopping center since 1980. "We've heard some positive things (about the potential buyer), and it will be interesting to see what happens."

William Hall can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or whall@theforecaster.net. Follow William on Twitter: @hallwilliam.

Falmouth Shopping Center, Falmouth, Maine