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Business Observer Friday, Oct. 28, 2011 7 years ago

Clearwater's TJM Properties buys historic Princess Martha

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Clearwater-based real estate firm TJM Properties purchased the 118-unit historic Princess Martha senior apartment community for $3.2 million.

BUYER: The Princess Martha LLC (Terence J. McCarthy as trustee), Clearwater

SELLER: WRH Princess Martha LLC

PROPERTY: 411 and 427 First Ave. N., St. Petersburg

PRICE: $3.2 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $3.48 million, November 2002

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Ford & Ford PA, St. Petersburg

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Clearwater-based real estate firm TJM Properties purchased the 118-unit historic Princess Martha senior apartment community for $3.2 million.

The price equated to $27,119 per unit.

The Princess Martha, formerly known as the Mason Hotel, was built in 1924 and has been used by presidents, Babe Ruth and Al Capone. It was the first hotel in St. Petersburg to be financed by the sale of public stock. In 1978, The Princess Martha was transformed from a hotel to residential space.

The Princess Martha is currently home to more than 70 seniors. The multi-story building also features a little more than 12,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and a full commercial kitchen.

“We are thinking we may do some catering out of there,” says Dale Schooley, director of acquisitions for TJM Properties. “It's just gorgeous. It's right in downtown St. Petersburg and has been very well maintained. [The building] was totally updated and a sprinklered. It may need some interior renovations in the down rooms but that's it.”

Schooley estimates that the seller, WRH Realty Services Inc., invested $3 million to $4 million in building upgrades. WRH plans to stay on in the building, leasing some of the commercial space from the new ownership.

The residential units are more than 90% occupied and all but 600 square feet of the commercial space is leased.

TJM Properties owns and operates several senior-focused properties. Along the Gulf Coast, its holdings includes the 142-bed Summerfield Retirement Residence in Bradenton, 320-unit The Oaks of Clearwater, 113-unit Bradenton Oaks, 92-unit Sunset Lake Village in Venice and 92-unit Village Place in Port Charlotte. It purchased four facilities last year and has acquired another three this year.

Will Conroy and Ernest L. Mascara of Englander Fischer law firm were lead counsel for the seller in the transaction.

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