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Sarasota-Manatee
Business Observer Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 2 months ago

Capstone emerges as mystery buyer of Sarasota theatre

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Players Centre marks the latest acquisition for investment firm
by: Kevin McQuaid Commercial Real Estate Editor

Capstone Management, a company controlled by Sarasota resident and former defense contractor Ken Solinsky, has emerged as the mystery buyer of the Players Centre for Performing Arts in Sarasota.

Bayview Sarasota LLC, an entity whose address matches Capstone’s office in Sarasota and whose manager has done extensive work with the company, acquired the property for $9.5 million last week.

The transaction marks the latest in a handful of commercial property purchases by Capstone in Sarasota over the past three years.

In addition to the 1.77-acre Players Centre property, Capstone also earlier this year acquired law firm Williams Parker’s property at 200 S. Orange Ave., in downtown Sarasota, for roughly $15 million.

That deal followed purchases of the five-story Ringling Square office building and the PNC Building, and a three-story office building at 101 Paramount Drive, a building once occupied by accounting and consulting firm Arthur Andersen, in Sarasota County.

Ian Black Real Estate Partner Jag Grewal represented Capstone in the negotiations.

Grewal declined to comment on the 838 N. Tamiami Trail purchase, as did Solinsky.

The sale paves the way for the Players Centre to move its operations to a new $30 million theater complex being developed in Lakewood Ranch in east Manatee County. Until that occurs, the theater will remain in its current quarters under a two-year lease with Bayview Sarasota.

As is the case with Williams Parker’s 3.3-acre site, Capstone is expected to eventually develop new residences on the Players Centre’s Sarasota tract.

Plans are gelling for a new 10-story residential building on the law firm’s former land, where it has operated for decades. That development has tentatively been scheduled for a 2022 delivery.

Capstone’s deal caps an undulating sales process for the theatre, which had sought $12.5 million for its site before agreeing to a $9.5 million deal with another buyer. That transaction fell apart this summer, however, leading to Capstone’s involvement.

In all, Capstone has invested roughly $60 million to acquire its Sarasota holdings.

Solinsky founded Insight Technology, a supplier of night-vision goggles and infrared technology to the U.S. military, in 1988. By 2009, the company had grown to roughly $300 million in annual sales and had about 1,000 employees.

Solinsky sold the company the following year to L3 Communications for an undisclosed amount.

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