A shopping center in Folsom that has potential for higher earnings attracted 12 offers — and sold for $11.22 million.

Real estate investor Ethan Conrad was the winning bidder, closing escrow on American River Plaza last week. A major attraction: the property will gain value once a key vacancy is filled.

Dan Wald, an executive managing director with Cushman & Wakefield in San Francisco, said that potential created strong buyer interest. “There’s a tremendous amount of capital looking for value-add situations,” he said.

The 114,220-square-foot center is about 85 percent occupied, but it’s actually more fully leased, Wald said.

That’s because the anchor building in the center, a former Albertson’s, remains under lease though it is vacant. The leaseholder has sublet half of the 41,384-square-foot building to Big Lots.

Fresh & Easy planned to put a grocery store in the other half, but withdrew as the company shut down stores in California. Brokers expect to see a new tenant.

“What most everyone was interested in is that space getting leased eventually,” Wald said. “When that anchor becomes re-occupied, everyone will benefit.”

Other stores in the center include Ace Hardware, Starbucks and Round Table Pizza. At Madison Avenue and Greenback Lane, American River might be considered a class “B” center in Folsom because it’s not near the freeway, Wald said. But the intersection gets plenty of traffic, and a new store alongside Big Lots can only help.

In an email, Conrad said the leaseholder of the former Albertson’s space is marketing the empty portion separately from his firm.

Along with Wald, Eric Kathrein of Cushman & Wakefield in San Francisco worked on the sale on behalf of the seller, Concord-based Garaventa Enterprises. Conrad worked on his own behalf on the buyer’s side.