New owner takes over Michigan Center retail center

2014-06-06T19:00:00Z New owner takes over Michigan Center retail centerJoseph S. Pete, (219) 933-3316

An Atlanta-based commercial real estate firm has bought the Lake Park Plaza shopping center in Michigan City and is looking to lease out nearly 25,000 square feet in vacant space.

RCG Ventures, the 28th largest retail property owner in the United States, bought the 114,867-square-foot shopping center from Inland Real Estate Corp. for an undisclosed amount.

The Chicago office of Transwestern, a global real estate firm, brokered the deal.

Major tenants in the center at 4301 S. Franklin St. include the national retailers Sally Beauty Supply, Batteries Plus and H&R Block. Seven of the 19 suites are currently empty, according to the property brochure.

Hobby Lobby and Jo-Ann Fabrics anchor Lake Park Plaza, which was built in 1992. KFC, Red Lobster and Chase Bank sit on outlots at the edge of the property.

The retail center lies along a major shopping corridor, across S. Franklin Street from a Meijer, a Walmart and two big-box home improvement stores. Most of the town's tourism traffic flows off Interstate 94 onto the north-south road, passing Lake Park Plaza while on the way to the lakeshore, downtown or Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets.

"Michigan City benefits from a strong, affluent tourism industry that is not represented in the demographics," said Janice Sellis, capital markets director at Transwestern. "RCG Ventures has been active in the Midwest recently and has the opportunity to increase the value of Lake Park Plaza through additional leasing."

Sellis and fellow capital markets director Paul Barile of Transwestern represented Inland in the transaction. Transwestern's Chicago office has surpassed $2 billion in retail property sales, totaling more than 13 million square feet.

RCG Ventures, a privately owned real estate investment group, represented itself in the sale. The company acquires and develops commercial real estate across the United States, focusing mainly on shopping centers with long-term ownership potential. 

Over the past decade, RCG has invested about $500 million to acquire 90 properties in 21 states. The firm's only other Indiana property is in Noblesville in central Indiana.

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