EAST MANATEE -- The investing group that purchased a former Winn-Dixie store two years ago in East Manatee has made its money back and more with two land sales, the latest coming April 20.
GH&G Lockwood of Decatur, Ga., sold 5.8 acres at its West Lake Plaza development to a Miami company, 144 Bradenton LLC, for $5.9 million, according to Manatee County records. That deal, plus a $1 million sale to a car wash company last August, pushes GH&G past break-even on the $6.5 million it paid for 26 acres at the intersection of Lockwood Ridge Road and State Road 70 in 2014.
Records show the land sold to 144 Bradenton has been leased to Wal-Mart. The retailer recently opened one of its Neighborhood Market-branded stores on about 18 acres owned by GH&G at West Lake Plaza. A portion of the store's parking lot and one of its entry drives are located on the land the company just sold.
GH&G has retained the majority of the former Winn-Dixie property. It has signed convenience store chain Wawa to a 20-year lease on about 2 acres. Wawa is scheduled to open a new store and gas station there this spring.
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More construction could be in store for the property. GH&G's site plan on file with Manatee County shows the proposed construction of 161,000 square feet of new retail space across eight buildings. Three buildings have already been constructed,
including the Neighborhood Market, the Wawa and Coastal Carwash.
GH&G has invested in other real estate deals in Manatee County. In 2015, it sold a completed Wawa store in downtown Bradenton for $4.01 million after developing the property. William Gryboski, one of the company's principals, has also been active in residential real estate. Last summer, he sold a quarter-acre building lot in Anna Maria for $2.35 million.
Matt M. Johnson, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7027 or on Twitter @MattAtBradenton.