Star Wars

Published on July 05


Meir Benzaken, began his real estate career in 1987 building, selling, renting and rehabilitating single family and multi-family homes in Montreal, Canada. After attending law school and obtaining his General Contractor and Real Estate Brokers licenses in the early 1990’s, Mr. Benzaken began acquiring, revitalizing and re-purposing residential and commercial properties in South Florida.

Mr. Benzaken leveraged several successful projects and in 2003 founded the accomplished real estate firm Exclusive Management and Properties, Inc. (EMPI), in Pompano Beach, Florida. EMPI has developed a strong, respected presence in the competitive Florida market. EMPI is committed to assisting investor clients to advance their financial goals through an array of customized real estate transactions and specialized services.

Lake Square Mall Purchased. Lake Square Mall has been a landmark in the Leesburg community for decades. The much-publicized acquisition of the 620,000 square foot, Lake Square Mall, in Leesburg, Florida, during the fall of 2017, for $23 million, sets in motion significant upgrades for the mall’s revitalization.

The Group. The new ownership group is comprised of strategic partners including a RE broker, a general contractor, a financial analyst, an attorney, a retail executive, a food & beverage operator, and a commercial HVAC contractor, each providing technical expertise, accelerated scheduling and significant value. 

Using this strategic partner synergy, the new owner’s plan is to focus on rebuilding the mall and its tenant mix to become a prime “destination for entertainment”, according to a news article published in the Orlando SentinelFollowing will be the development of multiple available out-parcels.

Meir Benzaken plans to initially invest between $3 and $5 million for improvements to the property, to include facade upgrades, two architecturally inspired, modern glass canopies, providing covered entry for visitors, and a rejuvenated interior. Phase 2 is anticipated to require an additional $8 million, and Phase 3 an additional $18 million in investment.

Within sixty days of closing, the new ownership developed a strong strategic alliance with the City of Leesburg to provide economic incentives pivotal to bringing the most desired retail, restaurant and entertainment opportunities to the mall.

Lake Square Mall is on a fast track to reducing vacancy by procuring commitments from five new specialty retailers. Local residents and consumers are eager for the new stores to open in Mid-March. “I’m really excited about the plans I’ve heard for our mall. I can’t wait. I can’t wait. I can’t wait.” said longtime Leesburg resident Megan Black, recently at the Community Meet & Greet.

Contact. For more information on Meir Benzaken and his related entities, or to inquire about real estate investment opportunities, or to become a valued tenant, please call (352) 787.1200.