Over the past 20 years Michael Pollack has purchased dozens of distressed properties only to later renovate and reposition the property, but never before has this Valley real estate mogul purchased a strip mall simply because it looked bad and had a fiberglass horse atop it.

That changed recently when Pollack purchased the fiberglass horse and the 12,500 SF strip mall at the SEC of Gilbert and Ray roads in Gilbert for $500,000.

“I can remember looking at that horse when I first rolled into town 22 years ago,”  Pollack said. “For me this is about the architectural challenge. We are taking something that is out of date and ugly and refiguring it to look like an old Hollywood Western town. We’ve even found a special place to incorporate this fiberglass horse into the new Western setting.”

A Chandler family under the name PBS Corp. owned the property for the past 38 years and was looking to sell the strip mall. Broker Brian Gast with Strategic Retail Group said Pollack was the perfect redeveloper for the property.

“When you look at what Michael Pollack has done around the Valley with hundreds of properties and shopping centers, this was a win-win situation for the buyer, seller, existing tenants and new tenants to come,” Gast said. “Michael is known for taking something that is quite frankly an eyesore and really making it beautiful and that’s what we need to get this center back up to 100% occupancy.”

Pollack says his first order of business will be finding a new Mexican restaurant tenant to replace Café Posada which will close its doors for good by the end of April. Renovations on the center, which is currently at 50% occupancy, will start right away. Pollack says he will then focus on finding more tenants to get the center up to 100% capacity.

With the anticipated corporation of the town of Gilbert’s planning and building department Pollack says the SEC of Gilbert and Ray roads will have a new look come summertime.

“As with every project we’re really excited to get going so we can once again make this a corner that both the town of Gilbert and community are proud to call their own,”  Pollack said.

In the past year Pollack has transformed other distressed properties in Chandler, Phoenix, Mesa and Tempe. He will be closing on another deal in Chandler in the next 30 days.