Troubled Shops of World Golf Village sold, new owners vow to fill vacancies

The commercial shopping area of the World Golf Village complex in St. Johns County has been sold. (Bruce Lipsky/Florida Times-Union, file)

The commercial shopping area of the World Golf Village complex in St. Johns County has been sold.


The Shops at World Golf Village were acquired by American Commercial Realty Corp., based in Palm Beach Gardens.

About 80,000 square feet of retail space in five buildings are contained within the complex off Interstate 95 just north of St. Augustine on International Golf Parkway. The area is also seeing a growing number of residential housing developments sprouting up surrounding the shopping center and golf getaway.

The price of the acquisition was not disclosed in a news release issued Friday that said an institutional lending company sold the complex to American Commercial Realty. The shopping complex is home to two long-term tenants, including and most notably The Caddy Shack Restaurant, which is owned by famed actor and comedian Bill Murray and his brothers.

Andy Murray, co-owner of The Caddy Shack, said, “I met the new landlords last week and they seem very nice. They want to do what’s best for all the shops. With all the new building going on around here, it’s a win-win situation for all of us.”

But there is still a number of commercial vacancies at the Shops of World Golf Village totaling about 55,000-square-feet of empty space and American Commercial Realty President Rick Baer said the company’s top priority is to fill those vacancies.

“There are vacancies at the center, but they were primarily the result of prior situations following the 2007 recession and a lengthy foreclosure procedure,” Baer said in a prepared statement. “Our new owners have the financial capability and the market experience necessary for this redevelopment.”

Murray said his restaurant’s business has been hurt by all the vacancies in the shopping center, especially when the Tour Stop golf shop closed several years ago.

“When the Tour Stop closed, business dropped dramatically. That’s a huge space. An entertainment kind of thing would probably fit in there pretty good,” Murray said. “We haven’t really had a landlord for a while. We’ve been dealing with a bank. This [acquisition] is all good for us.”

The acquisition of the commercial retail component in the complex has no bearing on World Golf facilities for golfing, the World Golf Hall of Fame, or resorts such as the Renaissance hotel and convention center.

Drew Dixon: (904) 359-4098