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AURORA -- The Aurora Commons shopping center, anchored by a Marc's store and located east of Bissell Road and between East Pioner Trail and West Garfield Road, was purchased Jan. 31 for $7.5 million by Optimus Aurora LLC, represented by Mantua resident Joseph Padanilam, the company's owner.
Optimus Aurora LLC, a subsidiary of Optimus One LLC, bought the property from SGO Aurora LLC, which had purchased it in March 2015 for $7.2 million, according to Portage County property tax records.
"Optimus One focuses on acquiring, managing and maximizing value of grocery anchored assets in the eastern part of the United States," Padanilam said.
The plaza, which dates to 1973, is a little more than 73,000 square feet in size, according to tax records.
The plaza is anchored by Marc's and also includes Mazzulo's Market, World Champion Martial Arts, Aurora Spirits, Angelo's Pizzaria, Regency Nails, Country Club Cleaners & Launderers and the Papous Tap and Grille.
Padanilam said he's very impressed with Marc's operations in the area, which was one of the factors that attracted him to the property.
"They're very, very good at what they do," he said. "The grocery market in Cleveland is interesting. On the one hand, you've got Heinen's that performs on services, while Marc's has decent service, but really competes on price."
Between them is Giant Eagle, and Padanilam said he doesn't believe they offer service as good as Heinen's or prices as low as Marc's.
Aurora Economic Development Director Jack Burge said Padanilam won't be the plaza's first area owner. "It was owned for years by a local man named Mark Weiss," he said.
Padanilam said he hasn't made any definite plans, but likely will invest in the building sometime in the next several years.
The purchase also includes the Ultimate Wash and Quick Lube, he added, noting he hopes to add more outparcel development on the 16.2-acre property.
"There's a lot of extra land on this property," he said, adding he hopes to work with the city of Aurora develop the outlots. He said he believes the Aurora market is reliable.
"There are probably a dozen suburbs around Cleveland that are likely to grow," he said. "[Aurora's] growth has been very slow, very steady and very good. I can see that continuing for a long time."
Living locally will have its benefits, as well, he added. As a Mantua resident, the shopping center is close enough to monitor closely.
"I think there's an opportunity to maximize this property," he said. "The last two operators have been in different parts of the United States."
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