A Dallas-based real estate firm that specializes in devalued properties acquired the seven-building Metro Square office park at Emerson Street and Philips Highway in a foreclosure sale, according to court records.
A company affiliated with the Prescott Group bought Metro Square at a Feb. 28 court auction, after assuming the debt on the property before the sale.
A spokesman for Prescott said by email the firm was not ready to comment on its plans for the property.
Duval County Circuit Judge Kevin Blazs entered a foreclosure judgment on the property at 3563 Philips Highway last year, ruling the owners were in default and owed $57.9 million.
Several foreclosure auctions were scheduled and postponed as U.S. Bank, trustee for the lenders, said in court filings it was seeking a “purchaser” for the debt.
On Jan. 29, the debt was assigned to PSF I Jax Metro LLC, an affiliate of Prescott. Court records do not show the terms of that transaction.
PSF I Jax Metro then acquired Metro Square with a bid of $5,800 at the foreclosure auction.
Prescott’s website says the firm specializes in “identifying market and asset anomalies and recognizing their value.”
The firm acquires assets at “substantial discounts to market value” with the intention of “positioning the investment to exit in an orderly fashion at or near the top of the real estate cycle when value has been maximized.”
Metro Square originally opened in 1960 as a shopping mall called Philips Highway Plaza.
After redevelopment into a commercial property two decades ago, it now has tenants including offices, an ice rink, a climbing gym and a nondenominational church.