The Citrus Park Mall was in the early stages of planning when an opportunity to acquire land contiguous to the soon-to-be regional mall became available. The land had petroleum contamination issues that made the property problematic for most development companies, but our early due diligence showed the costs of remediation to be quantifiable and reasonable.
The property was acquired and placed into a land trust. The owners held a purchase money mortgage during the time necessary to clean up the petroleum contamination and mitigate any additional legal issues. Within 12 months of the acquisition date of the property, JMB Development made official announcements that construction would commence on what is now known as the Westfield Town Centre, Citrus Park, in Tampa, Florida. In order to mitigate the resulting transportation impacts from the mall’s perimeter roads, JMB created a CDD (Community Development District) to acquire land through a bond offering in an effort to widen the roadways in and around the regional mall. To do so, the CDD was required, through an eminent domain proceeding, to condemn and take a large portion of the tract of land now known as Citrus Park Crossings.
The condemnation resulted in the remaining acreage being owned free and clear. The result was that there now exists on the site a long-term ground lease with Mobil/BP, and a small retail strip center. AmSouth Bank and Bridgestone Firestone purchased the other two outparcels outright. By addressing the environmental contamination on what was considered to be an untouchable property and working through the State of Florida’s Environmental amnesty protection programs and various other environmental issues, the site continues to generate significant cash flow from the outparcels.