Fuller, Pinilla make Palm Beach County debut with shopping center buy
78K sf retail center includes live fish market, movie theater
Bill Fuller and Martin Pinilla’s Barlington Group entered Palm Beach County, paying $14.4 million for a shopping plaza.
Barlington, through an affiliate, bought The Market Place in an unincorporated part of the county between Wellington and Greenacres, according to the buyer. The seller is J.J.D. Associates of Palm Beach Limited, tied to David Ezagui of Westmount Management, state corporate records show.
Douglas Mandel of Marcus & Millichap and Marc Kleiner of Kleiner Law Group represented the seller. Arnaldo Cantero of BGRS Commercial Real Estate Advisory represented the buyer.
The retail center spans 78,000 square feet on 12.3 acres. It consists of several buildings at 7440 Lake Worth Road, a building at 7300 Lake Worth Road and another at 7478 Lake Worth Road. They were constructed in the 1960s and 1970s, property records show.
The deal excluded the motel at 7448 Lake Worth Road, the gas station at 7482 Lake Worth Road and the medical offices at 7408 Lake Worth Road, according to Pinilla.
The purchased real estate is 97 percent leased, he said.
The property is in western Palm Beach County, a far cry from Barlington’s other investments that mainly focus on Miami’s Little Havana, specifically Calle Ocho.
But the area near Wellington is growing in population, and The Market Place offers an eclectic collection of tenants, some of which are a regional draw, Fuller said.
The anchor, Movies of Lake Worth, is a mom-and-pop operation that has prospered despite the slump movie theaters have experienced since even before the pandemic, he said. The theater showcases old films and new releases, and also broadcasts symphonies taking place in New York City and London, he added.
Other tenants include Yến’s Kitchen, which offers Vietnamese street food and has a live fish market with offerings such as blue crab and conch, as well as Mom’s Kitchen, which offers sandwiches, burgers, pasta and salads.
“These are the exact tenants we would strive to put in the center, and they are already there,” Pinilla said.
In March, Little Havana-based Barlington Group sold a Brickell retail property at 83-97 Southwest Eighth Street to Gazit Horizons, the U.S. subsidiary of Tel Aviv-based Gazit Globe Group, for $20.1 million.
Fuller also is an investor in the closed Polynesian-themed Mai Kai restaurant in Oakland Park. A joint venture among companies tied to Fuller and the family that owns the eatery paid $7.5 million for the property in September. They plan to restore and reopen the restaurant.
The Broward county retail market has been rebounding following a pandemic-induced decline, with the vacancy rate in the first quarter of this year dropping to 4.7 percent, a new low since March 2020, according to a Colliers report.