Pompano Beach firm acquires Central Florida mall with 22% vacancy rate

Pompano-based Village Lake Promenade paid $23 million for the ViaPort Florida mall in Leesburg

The ViaPort Florida mall in Leesburg
The ViaPort Florida mall in Leesburg

A Pompano Beach-based company bought a shopping mall in Central Florida with a 22 percent vacancy rate for $23 million. The buyer, Village Lake Promenade, a company formed in July, plans to renovate the ViaPort Florida mall in Leesburg and reduce its vacancy rate to 15 percent in a year. Meir Benzaken is a principal of Village Lake Promenade and an officer of Pompano Beach-based Exclusive Management and Properties Inc., which specializes in renovating retail properties.

Village Lake Promenade intends to put a new facade on the ViaPort Florida mall and rename the property. Built in the 1980s, the ViaPort Florida mall lost Target and JCPenney as anchors and has retained a roster of tenants that includes Sears, AMC Theaters, PetSmart and Books-A-Million. Turkish developer Coskun Bayraktar paid $14 million for the mall in 2014, when it was called Lake Square Mall, but failed to revitalize the property after renaming it and installing an electronic sign at the entrance. [Orlando Sentinel] — Mike Seemuth

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