Former Augusta dentist and current private investor George Snelling possesses 1.5 million square feet of commercially rented property, and now he can add Greenwood’s Emerald Place shopping center to his real estate portfolio after closing a deal on it on Dec. 16.

Emerald Place shopping center is at 259 Hospitality Blvd. and includes retailers such as Ross Dress for Less, Kohl’s and PetSmart. The property was built in 2013, and Snelling said it is still “in really good shape.”

Snelling said Greenwood’s vibrant economy and the newness of the shopping center made Emerald Place a “nice piece of property.”

Snelling currently owns five shopping centers outside of Augusta and said, “Greenwood just seemed like a really good opportunity.”

Before purchasing the property, Snelling said he checked with all tenants before he bought anything.

“All tenants are doing extremely well, (I) don’t see any closures there,” he said. “Ross is doing extremely well, Kohl’s is doing top of the line and PetSmart is kicking it.”

Snellings been in the commercial real estate business since 1985, and he is known for investing in self-storage assets. Snelling has no partners and he “owns everything.”

“I’m a sole proprietorship type of person,” he said.

Commercial property company, Marcus & Millichap, brokered the $9.5 million dollar deal that landed Snelling the 107,616 square-foot property from previous owners, Cole MT Greenwood SC LLC. The brokers that negotiated the purchase — on behalf of both the seller and buyer — were Marcus & Millichap’s Zach Taylor, Brian Munn and Don McMinn.

“It fit the bill of what he (Snelling) was searching for,” Eric Abbott, Marcus & Millichap analyst. “They negotiated back-and-forth until they landed out a strike price.”

Abbott said Snelling’s all-cash offer and the fact he did not have to get a financing plan made him a very suitable buyer and sped up the purchasing process.

Greenwood County Attorney Elizabeth Taylor said she met with Snelling and doesn’t “know any reason the county wouldn’t be agreeable with the sale.”

Snelling said he plans on maintaining the property and he hopes to rent out the one empty space in the shopping center.

There is no timetable on how long Snelling will hold the property, he said “there is a constant buy and sale every 5 to 7 years.”

Contact reporter Jonathan Limehouse at 864-943-5644 or follow him on Twitter @jon_limehouse.