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Business Observer Friday, Feb. 9, 2007 12 years ago

Commercial RE Briefs

Morgan Stanley buys Murdock CarrouselGeorge F. Young Inc. buys officeBal Bay Mortgage buys Nokomis SunTrustCoral Gables investors buy Palm Vista ApartmentsHoteliers buy Bridge Water InnDoug Fox Plumbing moves to Zip Drive Boston firm buys President's Plaza IIPremier One bucks trend, converts Whispering PalmsCay Clubs Resorts buys St. Joe Harbourside

Commercial RE Briefs

by Sean Roth | Real Estate Editor


Morgan Stanley buys Murdock Carrousel

BUYER: MSKP Murdock LLC (Babcock Florida Co.), West Palm Beach

SELLER: Woolbright Murdock LLC,

PROPERTY: 1900, 1952 and 2000 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte

PRICE: $30.03 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $19.25 million, June 2006

LAW FIRM ON DEED: David J. Wiener PA, Boca Raton

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Babcock Florida Co., a joint venture of Kitson & Partners and the Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund, the same group that owns and will be developing the 91,000-acre Babcock Ranch, purchased the 136,271-square-foot Murdock Carrousel south of Toledo Blade Boulevard in Port Charlotte from Boca Raton-based Woolbright Development Inc. for $30 million.

The Murdock Carrousel was just one of five shopping center properties that Woolbright Development reported selling to Morgan Stanley for a total of $281 million. The five-property, 735,920-square-foot portfolio divesture also includes the Oak Grove Shoppes in Altamont Springs, Sea Ranch Centre in Lauderdale by the Sea, River Bridge Centre in Greenacres and Galt Ocean Marketplace in Fort Lauderdale.

Mike Fimiani, Woolbright's executive vice president of leasing and marketing, said the sale would further solidify the company's plan to focus on development/redevelopment projects in Florida's major metropolitan markets.

Woolbright has owned Murdock Carrousel since June when it bought the center for $19.25 million or $141 a square foot. A little more than half-a-year prior to Woolbright's purchase, Murdock Carrousel's former owner, TCW Asset Management Co., sold a 10.5-acre parcel to Lowe's for new 60,983-square-foot home improvement store. The Murdock Carrousel is still anchored by Office Depot and Havertys Furniture.

Since 1999, Woolbright has developed and redeveloped more than 7.5 million square feet of retail space statewide and currently has another 13 shopping centers/developments in its portfolio. Woolbright officials did not break out the Murdock Carrousel from Morgan Stanley's total portfolio acquisition price.

Morgan Stanley Real Estate has acquired $102 billion of real estate assets worldwide and currently manages $60.5 billion in real estate for its clients. In mid-January, Morgan Stanley signed an agreement to acquire CNL Hotels & Resorts Inc., the nation's second largest hotel REIT.

George F. Young Inc. buys office

BUYER: Portal Crossings LLC (principal: Shamrock Holdings Group LLC), Denver, Colo.

SELLER: Watson Publications & Promotions Inc.

PROPERTY: 10540 Portal Crossing, unit 101-110, Bradenton

PRICE: $2.1 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $1.48 million, April 2005

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Jo Claire Spear PA, St. Petersburg

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: The former owners of Watson Publications and Promotions have sold the 12,000-square-foot space in Portal Crossing, at the southeast corner of State Road 64 and Lakewood Ranch Boulevard, to Denver-based Investment Exchange Group LLC for $2.1 million.

The property will eventually be transferred to the St. Petersburg-based civil engineering/architectural firm George F. Young Inc. in a 1031 exchange.

Watson Publications, which was renamed Vincent Publishing last year, is scheduled to relocate to a 5,000-square-foot office in Cooper Creek toward the end of March. Buccaneer Realty represented the sellers, and Frank Bozikovich of Commercial Partners Realty represented the buyers.

The new Lakewood Ranch office is slated to consolidate both the existing Bradenton and Sarasota George F. Young offices and will house about 50 employees.

"We're not going to be making a lot of changes there except for maybe some minor cosmetic changes," says Scott Clendening, president and broker of Commercial Partners Realty. "The layout is very functional. This is really about allowing [George F. Young] to grow and allowing us to serve our clients better. At the same time, from a business perspective, this allows us to reduce operating expenses. "

Clendening says that George F. Young will likely open an office in southern Sarasota County sometime later this year. George F. Young's new Lakewood Ranch office is scheduled to open in mid-April.

Portal Crossings LLC mortgaged the property to Bank of America NA to $2.1 million.

Bal Bay Mortgage buys Nokomis SunTrust

BUYER: 2 Bal Bay Properties LLC (principals: Daniel Cooseman and John Olsen), North Miami


PROPERTY: 1000 N. Tamiami Trail, Nokomis

PRICE: $2.15 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $2.1 million, October 2005

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: John Olsen's Bal Bay Mortgage in North Miami purchased a 12,000-square-foot SunTrust Bank branch in Nokomis. The purchase entity, 2 Bal Bay Properties LLC, mortgaged the property to BankUnited FSB for $1.72 million. Bal Bay Mortgage officials did not return calls for comment prior to deadline.


• DDW Properties, LLC agreed to lease 3,318 square feet at 7247 Delainey Court, Sarasota from Hembree-Ross LLP. Rachel Neves of Hembree and Associates represented the landlord, and Cyndi Myers of Lakewood Ranch Commercial Realty represented the tenant.

• Sarasota-based Kellogg & Kimsey Inc. has started construction on a Courtyard by Marriott at the Gulf Coast Town Center in Fort Myers across from a new Bass Pro Shop. The four-story 73,766-square-foot, 134-room Courtyard hotel is schedule for completion in the fourth quarter of the year. The general contractor recently completed a Fleming's Prime Steakhouse expansion and Roy's Hawaiian Fusion restaurant on Tamiami Trail in Sarasota and the Bellagio Harbor Village, a four-story, 53-unit condominium in Osprey.


Coral Gables investors buy Palm Vista Apartments

BUYER: Coral Gulf IV LLC (principal: Jose Garcia), Coral Gables

SELLER: Brown Management Inc.

PROPERTY: 3726-3748 Central Ave., Fort Myers

PRICE: $9.225 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $5.78 million, March 2005

ATTORNEY PREPARING DEED: Ronald E. Temkin, Esq., Hallandale

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: The Coral Gables investment group Coral Gulf IV LLC purchased the 136-unit Palm Vista Apartments in Fort Myers for $9.2 million or $72 per square foot. Andrew Bethke of Marcus & Millichap handled both sides of the transaction.

With the residential slowdown/condominium glut still a problem for apartment-condo converters, the apartment was purchased for cash flow reasons, Bethke says.

"There is a great potential for rental growth there," Bethke says. "We were working with the seller in August or September to stabilize rents. The rents there are still well below the market. It is a large complex in a rapidly changing area that used to be a high in crime. A lot has happened over the past two years to improve the area."

The biggest wrinkle that suppressed demand for the apartment complex from potential buyers, Bethke says, was a requirement by the former owner that any buyer take over payments on a $5 million mortgage with CitiBank. That meant that any potential buyer would have to pay for any amount above that $5 million in the purchase price with cash on hand.

"That was a lot of exposure for potential buyers," Bethke says. "That took the loan to value to about 55%. Also whenever you are dealing with Wall Street money [for the CitiBank loan] the deal requires mountains of paperwork. Which always slows things down. If someone makes a mistake you have to start all over again."

Hoteliers buy Bridge Water Inn

BUYER: Lowell and Susan Spillane, Sanibel

SELLER: Steve McCarney

PROPERTY: 4331 Pine Island Road N.W., Matlacha

PRICE: $1.169 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $440,000, July 1995

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Waggoner & Bruehl PA, Bokeelia

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Lowell "Terry" and Susan Spillane purchased the nine-room Bridge Water Inn Motel in Matlacha for $1.17 million.

The Spillanes already own the12-room Anchor Inn and Cottages and 10-room Tropical Winds Motel and Cottages motel on Sanibel.

"[The Bridge Water Inn] was just a unique property because it goes out on piers right to the water," "Terry" Spillane says. "The previous owners already rehabbed it so we are really just planning to increase its marketing exposure."

Spillane says he also expects to eventually cross-market the three motel properties. The new owners mortgaged the property to Sanibel Captiva Community Bank for $2.425 million and to the former owner, Steve McCarney, for $200,000.

Doug Fox Plumbing moves to Zip Drive

BUYER: Doug Fox Plumbing LLC (principals: Douglas and Judith Fox), Fort Myers


PROPERTY: 5750 Zip Drive, Fort Myers,

PRICE: $1.02 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $584,400, July 2004

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Henderson Franklin Starnes & Holt PA, Bonita Springs

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Doug Fox Plumbing, the new-construction services half of Fox Plumbing, purchased a 9,525-square-foot flex (office/warehouse) building in Fort Myers' Billy Creek Commerce Center for $1.02 million.

Doug Fox's plumbing company previously shared a 1,500-square-foot building at 12338 Palm Beach Blvd., Fort Myers, with his brother Rick Fox's remodeling and service plumbing firm, Rick Fox Plumbing. The two owners have operated their businesses cooperatively under the name of Fox Plumbing.

The new flex building is so much larger, Doug Fox says, that even with a tenant renting 3,000 square feet, the plumbing business can use the building for indoor truck storage.

"We've just grown so much that this new building really made sense." Fox says. "We started with three trucks, and now we are up to 15."

Doug Fox Plumbing mortgaged the building to SunTrust Bank for $817,000.


• Comcast of the South Inc. leased a 17,098-square-foot warehouse in Billy Creek Commerce Center at 5641 Zip Drive in Fort Myers from Billy Creek 5641 LLC. Kevin Rosenthal and Todd Holman of Gates D'Alessandro & Woodyard LLC negotiated the transaction.


Boston firm buys President's Plaza II

BUYER: Realty Associates Fund VIII LP, Boston

SELLER: Presidents Plaza General Partner

PROPERTY: 4904 Eisenhower Blvd., Tampa

PRICE: $13.75 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $4 million, July 1993

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Stutzman Bromberg Esserman & Plifka, Dallas

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Boston-based TA Associates Realty purchased the 96,491-square-foot, class-B President's Plaza II office building in Tampa for $13.75 million. According to CoStar Group research, the building, which occupies a 6.5-acre lot, is currently 100% occupied, but The Staubach Co. has been trying to sublease a 14,500-square-foot space.

Cushman & Wakefield handled the sale.

In March, PRC LLC leased a little more than a quarter of the space in the center, 25,000 square feet, for a call center. In May, the Zurich insurance firm leased 35,000 square feet in the President's Plaza II's second and third floors.

Premier One bucks trend, converts Whispering Palms

BUYER: Whispering Palms Condominium LLC (principals: Jorge and Julio Quintana and Angel Lage), Miami Lakes

SELLER: Amistef Largo LLC

PROPERTY: 13302 Wilcox Road, Largo

PRICE: $10.57 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $7.35 million, November 2003

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Miami Lakes-based real estate company Premier One purchased the 108-unit Whispering Palms Apartments in Largo for $10.57 million, or $98,000 per unit. Darrell H. Johnson of Smith Equities Corp. in Orlando represented the seller, Amistef Largo LLC, and Lazaro Menendez, a Realtor in the Coral Gables office of Fortune International Realty, represented the buyers. The new owners plan to buck the downturn in the sluggish residential market and convert the 20-year-old apartment complex to condominium units.

"They're planning to start to converting them in about three months," Menendez says. "It's a unique property. All of the units are two bedrooms, two [bathrooms]. The upper units have cathedral ceilings and fireplaces. It's in a neighborhood where a lot of the older buildings built in the '70s -without the same level of amenities - are going for $170,000 to $180,000. These are going to debut for $159,000 to 169,000."

Whispering Palms Condominium LLC mortgaged the apartment complex to Imperial Capital Bank for $8.2 million.

Cay Clubs Resorts buys St. Joe Harbourside

BUYER: CCH CCI LLC (principals: David Schwarz and F. Dave Clark), Clearwater

SELLER: Miranda Office Partner Clearwater

PROPERTY: 18167 U.S. 19 N., Clearwater

PRICE: $19 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $18.1 million, December 2005

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Levenfeld Pearlstein LLC, Chicago

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Clearwater-based Cay Clubs Resorts and Marinas has closed on its purchase of the 146,689-square-foot St. Joe Harbourside Building in Clearwater for $19 million.

Cay Clubs, which previously leased space in another building owned by Washington Mutual, has occupied space in the Harbourside building for about a year. The building, which will house the Cay Clubs corporate offices, is being renamed and will be converted to office condominium spaces.

The new corporate office followed two other Clearwater commercial deals recently by the resort operator. The Clay Clubs purchased the 167,985-square-foot Commonwealth Shopping Center in Clearwater for $11 million and a former bank building in front of the Clearwater Cay Clubs, at 2704 Via Murano, from Sabet Development LLC for $1.69 million.

At the same time, the Cay Clubs has agreed to taking over management responsibility for the Cove Cay Country Club golf course and the Cove Cay Marina.

Cay Cubs mortgaged the former Harbourside building to JDI Harbourside LLC for $18 million.


• Discovery Real Estate Services of Boise, Idaho purchased the new 16,054-square-foot Seven Oaks Shopping Center at 27607 State Road 56 in Wesley Chapel from DeBartolo Development for $6.15 million or $383.08 per square foot. Larry Randolph and Brad C. Luger of GVA Advantis represented the seller. Tenants in the shopping center include: Republic Bank, Mattress Giant and Bagel Bagel Cafe.

• The Calkain Cos., a national real estate investment brokerage firm, has expanded its presence into Southeast markets by opening an office in Tampa. David Sobelman, Vice President of Calkain Realty Advisors, the private market division of Calkain Cos., will handle the day-to-day operations of the Southeast expansion. Calkain is a full-service brokerage firm that focuses on single-tenant retail, industrial, and office net leased transactions.

• Clearwater-based TruGreen Chemlawn leased 4,094 square feet in the Colonial Center Bayside at 17757 U.S. 19 North in Clearwater from Colonial Properties Trust. Tom Kennedy of Grubb & Ellis/Commercial Florida negotiated the transaction. 

• Jeffry Ewing, president of Ladera Construction Group Inc., has become president of the Tampa Bay Builders Association for 2007. Peggy Templeton of Templeton Development was appointed president-elect. Edwin G. Farmer of King Engineering was appointed vice president/treasurer, and Randy Sortore of TECO Peoples Gas will serve as vice president/secretary.

• CB Richard Ellis has been named the exclusive leasing agent for Trinity Town Center, a new retail and office project at the intersection of Trinity Boulevard and Little Road in Pasco County. William Calary and Eric Schaffer, with CB Richard Ellis in Tampa are the leasing agents for the about 200,000 square feet of new retail and office space.

• Grubb & Ellis/Commercial Florida plans to expand its Tampa office in the next 60 days. Stevens Tombrink, executive vice president and managing director of the Tampa Bay office, plans to add five new commercial property brokers in Tampa by the end of the first quarter. Grubb & Ellis/Commercial Florida currently employs 15 commercial property brokers and specialists in the Tampa Bay office.

WilsonMiller's new Tampa office building, formerly the Ybor City Brewing Co. building, won the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties Tampa Bay Chapter 2006 "Best of the Best" Award in the category of Outstanding Rehab Project. Also honored for the project was the building's owner, Bay Brewing Co., along with Angell Construction, Inc. and Alfonso Architects Interiors.

About $3.5 million was spent on renovating and upgrading the three-story, brick former cigar factory in Ybor City, and all the work was done in accordance with historic preservation guidelines.

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