FALMOUTH — The Falmouth Shopping Center on Route 1 has been sold for $21 million.
Several people familiar with the sale declined to disclose the identify of the buyers. Town Manager Nathan Poore said, “I have met with representation of the new ownership (and) … based on what I know, I am encouraged with the long-term vision (for) this property.”
The plaza, anchored by a Shaw’s supermarket, Ocean State Job Lot and a Bank of America branch, along with a Goodwill retail store, was formerly owned by NKF Capital Markets, headquartered in New York City.
NFK Capital announced the sale of the shopping center in a press release late last month. The release said the center is on nearly 33 acres of land. It consists of about 204,000 square feet of retail and office space with about 29 acres undeveloped.
NFK Capital described the shopping center as being “conveniently located along … a prominent retail corridor” and said at the time of the sale the property was 89 percent leased “to a diverse tenant roster.”
“The Falmouth Shopping Center benefits from longstanding grocery tenancy combined with exceptional recent leasing momentum,” Justin Smith, managing director at NFK Capital, said in the release.
On May 2, Compass Commercial Brokers in Portland also confirmed the sale of the shopping center.
“Compass Commercial Brokers would like to congratulate our clients and partners on the acquisition of this prominent investment” property, the brokerage said on its website, adding it’s “now the exclusive leasing agent for the center.”
The new property managers are Commercial Properties Management, which also manages the Tontine Mall in Brunswick, Mill Creek Plaza in South Portland, and properties in Topsham and Portland.
Abigail Cassidy, a co-owner and property manager at Commercial Properties Management, declined to respond to a request for details about the sale, including the identity of the new owners.
“We have no comments at this time,” Cassidy said Monday.
The same response came from Bob Stevens, a lawyer at Curtis Thaxter in Portland, which is the registered agent for one of the new corporate owners of the shopping center, 122 PTIP LLC.
Stevens said he was “not at liberty to comment” on who is behind the purchase of the shopping center.
According to Poore, “any discussion about future plans is still confidential.”
Last fall, the shopping center gained new life with the addition of Ocean State Job Lot, which took over the 50,000-square-foot former Shaw’s space that had long been vacant, and a Planet Fitness, which took over a former Lamey Wellehan shoe store.
While there are still several vacancies, including the former Lotus Chinese restaurant and a former space occupied by Key Bank, the center has benefited from several long-time tenants, including the Falmouth House of Pizza.
Only one other tenant who could be reached, Clare Lygo, owner of the Book Review, was willing to discuss the sale.
“I don’t know what the plans are for the shopping center,” she said Monday, “but I hope that they will breathe some new life into it and give it a needed face-lift, (such as) improving the exterior drains and driveways and parking lots.”
Lygo said so far the new management company has been “checking everything in and around my store, including the roof, the smoke alarms and fuse boxes to make sure everything works and is up to code.”
“I hope the only impact that the new ownership (has) will be positive and (that it will) bring in more businesses to lease (storefronts) that have been left vacant for a while, like the Lamey Wellehan space and the Lotus Chinese restaurant,” she added.
“We have felt a positive impact from Ocean State Job Lot and Planet Fitness moving in down at the end of the center, which had been vacant for over 15 years. I believe Falmouth is growing and our shopping center will benefit from more businesses wanting to be (here).”
Overall, Lygo said, “I feel that this (sale) is a good thing for our shopping center and Falmouth. I am hoping that more independent businesses will move in, so that we can be a go-to shopping center to cover the majority of people’s needs. We have a very supportive community that likes to shop local, so things are looking good.”
Edited May 9 to correct that the Topsham Fair Mall is not managed by Commercial Properties Management.
The Falmouth Shopping Center on Route 1 has been sold to undisclosed buyers, but at least one tenant has high hopes for the future of the commercial hub.
A sign on the door of the former Lotus restaurant announces new ownership of the Falmouth Shopping Center. But the identity of the new owners is being closely guarded.