Oaks Square owner pays debt, averting auction

Published: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at 3:56 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at 3:56 p.m.

The owner of the Oaks Square shopping center paid off a $17.2 million foreclosure judgment Monday, one day before the property was scheduled to go up for auction in the Alachua County civil courthouse.

Joe Carosella Jr. of Oaks Square Joint Venture and Boca Raton-based Retail Property Group paid the principal loan balance of $14.8 million, plus default interest and attorney’s fees, to settle the loan held by US Bank National Association and to keep the shopping center.

Oaks Square was built near the Newberry Road/I-75 interchange in 1999 and includes Bed Bath & Beyond, DSW Shoe Warehouse, Office Depot, Ulta Beauty, Men’s Warehouse and Rooms to Go.

The loan was due Jan. 1, 2011 and Carosella continued to make monthly payments through October 2011.

According to court records, Carosella’s attorney argued that the loan servicer accepted a $12 million discounted payoff in November 2011 based on the current assessed value.

US Bank’s attorney said they canceled the deal because they believed Carosella did not disclose information about incoming tenants that would have increased the assessed value.

The company filed a foreclosure notice in March 2012 in Alachua County Circuit Court. The court ruled on US Bank’s behalf last month and set a foreclosure auction date of Sept. 10.

The owner and attorneys on both sides would not comment.

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