AUGUSTA — Shaw’s Plaza, the Western Avenue shopping center that serves as the home of numerous businesses, is in foreclosure and scheduled to be auctioned Sept. 28.

Businesses at the plaza, which city records indicate was built in the late 1960s, include Shaw’s supermarket, Big Lots, PetLife, Aspen Dental, Applebee’s and Lamey Wellehan.

The 18.5-acre property with multiple buildings is valued by the city for tax purposes at $16.4 million and generates $334,000 a year in property taxes.

Officials anticipate the property will find a buyer if it goes to auction, and also expect the current businesses to remain there post-sale. Officials hope a new owner will update the aging retail center.

According to data provided by the auction company, the center is in a prominent location, with an average of 26,500 vehicles passing it daily on Western Avenue, 8,800 on Armory Street and 9,300 on Capitol Street.

“It’s a fantastic location and it’s a high-traffic site, one of the highest in the state,” said Keith Luke, Augusta’s deputy director of development services. “The age of the facility is really the issue.”

SHAW’S EXPECTS TO REMAIN

Teresa Edington, spokeswoman for Shaw’s Supermarket, declined to discuss the supermarket’s lease for its longtime spot in the plaza, but indicated the supermarket expects to remain there if and when ownership changes hands.

“While we cannot comment on store lease agreements, I can tell you that Shaw’s is committed to serving the Augusta community at our store location on Western Avenue,” Edington said in an email.

The shopping center is owned by CAP Center Associates L.P., according to city records. Company officials could not be reached for comment.

Secretary of State’s Office records indicate CAP Center Associates is a Pennsylvania company.

The mortgage holder, ML-CFC Commercial Mortgage Trust, is selling the property after the owner apparently breached the conditions of a mortgage dated Feb. 9, 2007, according to a legal notice announcing the auction, which is set for 1 p.m. Sept. 28 at the shopping center.

Mike Carey, senior vice president at Tranzon Auction Co., said the plaza remains a viable, investment-grade commercial property that is sure to draw interest from potential buyers.

“We’re receiving calls from throughout the country about it,” Carey said. He noted that the site’s location in the state capital generally brings economic stability because state government, and the employees and visitors it attracts, isn’t going away.

SOME BUILDINGS NOT THAT OLD

Although the original structure dates to the late 1960s, some of the outlying buildings there are relatively new, including the standalone Applebee’s restaurant built in 2002 and, on the corner of the lot adjacent to Western Avenue, Aspen Dental, built in 2008. The property’s various buildings total nearly 200,000 square feet of space, with 63,000 square feet occupied by Shaw’s.

It was previously known as Capitol Shopping Center.

Earlier this year, another prominent Augusta property, Key Plaza in downtown Augusta, was scheduled to be auctioned. But after at least three postponed auctions, the building’s former ownership group reached a deal with the seller to re-secure ownership of the large office building.

Keith Edwards can be contacted at 621-5647 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: kedwardskj