All aboard! Gatsby buys railroad-themed Delray Beach retail plaza for $30M

Nader Shalom and Babak Ebrahimzadeh’s firm scooped up the Ocean City Lumber Company complex

Gatsby Enterprises' Babak Ebrahimzadeh with 25 and 45 Northeast Second Avenue, as well as at 220 Northeast First Street
Gatsby Enterprises' Babak Ebrahimzadeh with 25 and 45 Northeast Second Avenue, as well as at 220 Northeast First Street (Loopnet, LinkedIn)

Gatsby FL’s Nader Shalom and Babak Ebrahimzadeh bought a retail and office plaza in downtown Delray Beach for $30 million.

The duo, through an affiliate, bought the four-building, 50,000-square-foot complex at 25 and 45 Northeast Second Avenue and 220 Northeast First Street from Janet and Tim Onnen, according to records.

Southdale Properties’ Laura Allen and Cecelia Boone represented the sellers in the off-market deal. The 2.5-acre complex is formally known as Ocean City Lumber Company, an homage to its history as an early 20th century lumber yard. Some of the structures date back to 1925.

The plaza is almost fully leased, with some office vacancies, Boone said. Tenants include Bru’s Room Bar & Grill, El Camino restaurant and PurLife Cafe.

The Onnens have renovated some of the buildings since assembling the properties in the 1980s and early 1990s, according to Boone. The plaza’s overhaul included a railroad motif, as the property is just west of train tracks. The site contains a renovated historic train depot, according to the website for general contractor BAS Construction, which did the restoration.

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Janet Onnen is the daughter of Larry Meisner, founder of Boca Raton-based electrical contractor Meisner Electric. The Onnens acquired the company’s Florida operations from Larry Meisner in 1983, according to its website.

It’s the latest in a series of South Florida real estate purchases by Gatsby since 2019.
Shalom, who also goes by Nader Ohebshalom, leads New York-based Gatsby Enterprises, while Ebrahimzadeh is president of its Florida arm, Gatsby FL. Ebrahimzadeh also leads the real estate investment firm Master Mind.

Earlier this month, Gatsby FL took over the planned PGA Tower office and retail project in Palm Beach Gardens, paying $17.5 million for the 7-acre development site at 11200 RCA Center Drive. Gatsby will move forward with the project, according to a news release.

Also in Palm Beach County, the duo scooped up the 11-story DiVosta Towers at 3825 to 3835 PGA Boulevard for $80 million in 2020. In 2019, they bought the 800 Brickell office tower in Miami’s Brickell for $125.5 million.

Downtown Delray Beach has drawn some commercial real estate investment activity in recent months. In January, James Batmasian paid $6.5 million for the office and retail building at 630 Atlantic Avenue and then paid $18.5 million for another at 411 East Atlantic Avenue.