James Batmasian buys Walmart shopping center in Deerfield Beach

Miami Beach-based Savitar Realty Advisors sold Palm Trails Plaza

James Batmasian and Palm Trails Plaza at 1101-1149 South Military Trail in Deerfield Beach (Getty Images)
James Batmasian and Palm Trails Plaza at 1101-1149 South Military Trail in Deerfield Beach (Getty Images)

Boca Raton-based commercial real estate investor James Batmasian picked up another retail plaza in Deerfield Beach, paying $17 million for a shopping center anchored by a Walmart Neighborhood Market.

An entity managed by Batmasian bought Palm Trails Plaza at 1101-1149 South Military Trail, records show.

The seller, an affiliate of Savitar Realty Advisors, a Miami Beach-based real estate firm led by CEO Clifford Stein, paid $9.1 million for the plaza in 2016. The 77,365-square-foot shopping center was completed in 1999, records show.

In addition to Walmart, other tenants include Jimmy John’s, Metro PCS, and The UPS Store. The property also has an outparcel leased to Pollo Tropical, according to Loopnet.

In 2019, Batmasian paid $16.5 million for a shopping center at 1799, 1801 and 1831 West Hillsboro Boulevard in Deerfield Beach. Tenants include Checkers, Tailgators Sports Bar and medical offices.

A year later, then-President Donald Trump pardoned Batmasian, who pleaded guilty to tax evasion in 2008. He served eight months in prison for not paying the IRS about $250,000 in payroll taxes.

Batmasian was also linked to a public corruption scandal that brought down ex-Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie, who last year pleaded guilty to misdemeanors of abusing her office. State prosecutors alleged that Haynie failed to disclose her financial ties to Batmasian and his wife Marta, while voting on their projects.

Earlier this year, the Batmasians’ Investments Limited bought a retail and office building in downtown Delray Beach for $18.5 million. The company owns and manages about 3,800 apartments and more than 3 million square feet of commercial properties in South Florida and around Boston, according to its website.

Shopping center deals are booming in South Florida. This month, Boston-based Longpoint Realty Partners picked up a retail plaza anchored by a Sedano’s supermarket in Hialeah for $43.2 million. In July, El Paso-based River Oaks Properties paid $25.5 million for Shop Delray, a shopping center anchored by Joseph’s Classic Market in Delray Beach.