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Business Observer Friday, Nov. 23, 2007 12 years ago

Commercial Real Estate Briefs

Deltona Corp. buys 812 Cape Coral home lotsAshley and City Furniture expands to Fort Myers, NaplesFlorida Capital plans I-75 apartmentsPointe Group Advisors plans Westshore projectPollack Partners, Mainsail plan Westshore apartmentsJohn Neal buys half of University Park clubLakewood Ranch developerdonates land to MCCFormer Pulte executive heads Taylor Morrison

Commercial Real Estate Briefs

by Sean Roth | Real Estate Editor


Deltona Corp. buys 812 Cape Coral home lots

BUYER: The Deltona Corp. (principals: Christel Dewilde, Antony Gram, Sharon Hummerhielm and Beth Fisher), Ocala

SELLER: K. Hovnanian First Homes LLC

PROPERTY: 1128 N.E. Second Place, 305 N.E. 13th St., 21 N.E. 11th Lane, 1418 N.E. Juanita Place, 1302 N.E., 4th Place, 342 N.E. 13th Terrace, 503 N.E. 15th Terrace, 1509, 1418, 809 and 828, N.E. Sixth Avenue, 1232, 1224, 1013, 807, 1010, 1025 and 1018 N.E. Seventh Avenue and various additional parcels (812 parcels),

PRICE: $16.24 million

LAW FIRM ON DEED: First Home Title LLC, Fort Myers

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Ocala-based residential developer The Deltona Corp. is stock piling land in a big way in Cape Coral.

Deltona Corp. purchased 812 parcels from K. Hovnanian First Homes for $16.24 million or $20,000 per parcel. Most of the lots were noncontiguous and they were all vacant but buildable, according to Beth Fisher, manager of the Marion Oaks office of Deltona Corp. Fisher was uncertain of the total acreage, but said that each lot was a minimum of 10,000 square feet, which translates to minimum of 186 acres.

"We're getting ready to hit the ground running when the market comes back around," Fisher says. "We expect it to come back strong. This was just somebody who came to us looking to sell, and we saw a good deal. We have no intention of buying anything else right now."

Deltona Corp. is one of the early master-planned community developers in Florida. Starting in the early 1960s, the company developed and sold off Deltona Lakes, Spring Hill, Citrus Springs, St. Augustine Shores, Marco Island, Pine Ridge, Seminole Woods, Tierra Verde and Sunny Hills.

It is currently involved in the 15,000-acre Marion Oaks community in Marion County, according to its Web site.

The sale comes on the heels of major layoffs at First Home Builders of Florida. As Coffee Talk reported last week, the company, owned by Hovnanian Enterprises, plans to layoff 204 employees and eventually have only 44 employees in Fort Myers.

Ashley and City Furniture

expands to Fort Myers, Naples

BUYER: CF Fort Myers LLC (principal: Keith Koenig), Tamarac

SELLER: Southwest Florida Investment Group LLC

PROPERTY: Alico Road and I-75, Fort Myers

PRICE: $4.35 million

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Angelo & Banta PA, Fort Lauderdale

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Tamarac-based furniture retailer City Furniture has started its expansion to the Gulf Coast of Florida.

The company, using the limited liability company of CF Fort Myers LLC, purchased six acres in Alico Lake Village across from the Florida Gulf Coast Town Center for $4.35 million. City Furniture plans to develop the site into a 114,000-square-foot showroom and retail store building for City Furniture and Ashley Furniture Homestore.

Miller Construction Co. of Fort Lauderdale is the general contractor for the development.

"We started the site work there 60 days ago," says Keith Koenig, president of City Furniture. "We're aiming to be open by August. We're very excited about the growth of the entire southwest Florida market. We want to bring our business model and store models there to continue to grow and be successful."

City Furniture is also constructing a retail location on U.S. 41 near Old U.S. 41 in Naples that is scheduled to around the same time next year. The Naples store will feature a 54,000-square-foot City Furniture and a 32,000-square-foot Ashley Furniture. Koenig says much of his expansion to the Gulf Coast of Florida is driven by customer demand

"We hear from customers that cross Alligator Alley to buy from our stores over here," he says. "Our distribution center in Fort Lauderdale is really centrally poised to handle Southwest Florida as well." The company currently operates 21 stores on the east coast from Stuart to Miami-Dade. Koenig is confident that the residential slowdown won't drastically hamper the company's growth. He says so far sales are down about 10%, but they're still "darn good."

Barry Ruzat of Synergy Retail Group in Boca Raton brokered the transaction, and Angelo & Banta, P.A. handled the legal work for City Furniture.


• Naples-based developer Stock Development purchased 329 acres at 6335 Rattlesnake Hammock Road, Naples from Associated Real Estate Southwest Inc. and Commercial Properties Southwest Inc. for $22.99 million.

Officials with Stock Development declined to comment on its future plans for the site. The developer mortgaged the property to Fifth Third Bank for $37 million.

• Owen-Ames-Kimball Co. has completed construction of the new Harbor Nissan dealership building and phase one of the site construction. 

The 36,000-square-foot facility includes a showroom with offices and a vehicle service area with 20 work bays. The project is being completed in two phases, which is designed to allow the dealership to remain open during the construction work.


Florida Capital plans I-75 apartments

BUYER: FC Bloomingdale Apartments LLC (principals: Katherine Christy and C. Thomas Selby), Heathrow

SELLER: Bloomingdale Apartments LLC

PROPERTY: Bloomingdale Avenue and Interstate 75, Tampa

PRICE: $5.01 million


LAW FIRM ON DEED: Graham Builder J

ones Pratt & Marks LLP, Winter Park

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Heathrow-based multifamily community developer Florida Capital Real Estate Group purchased 29 acres of vacant land bordered by Bloomingdale Avenue, Progress Boulevard and Interstate 75 for $5 million. Officials with Florida Capital Real Estate says the company plans to break ground on a 350-unit apartment complex on the site in early 2008.

For the past year and a half, the company has been working to get its necessary permitting approvals for the future development of the site.

Florida Capital Real Estate is one of the developers behind the four-building condominium Casa Bella on Westshore condominium/townhome development in Tampa and the Mosaic condominium development in Houston.

Pointe Group Advisors

plans Westshore project

BUYER: Pointe Watermark LLC, Plantation

SELLER: Naidip Watermark LLC

PROPERTY: 5415 W. Mariner and 5420 Bay Center, Tampa

PRICE: $7 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $12.5 million, April 2004

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Shumaker Loop & Kendrick LLP, Tampa

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Plantation-based real estate group Pointe Group Advisors LLC acquired the professional office buildings Watermark five and seven in Westshore from Naidip Watermark LLC for $7 million. The two, two-story buildings house a total of 54,000 square feet of office space.

"We normally wouldn't purchase these older buildings. We really bought it for the possibility of building a tower there in the future," says Dennis Ackerman, senior vice president of property management for Pointe Group Advisors. "We usually look for buildings that are leased by major corporations for long-term investments. But the location was just exceptional. When our tenant's leases are up, we have that option."

The nearly 40-year-old buildings still maintain a healthy occupancy. As of the sale, Watermark seven was fully leased, and Watermark five was 93% occupied.

Ackerman expects that based on current building restrictions, the new owner could conceivably develop a 10- to 12-story office building.

Pointe Group Advisors owns another three buildings in the St. Petersburg market, including the 100 Carillon Parkway; the Avaya Building, 11399 16th Court N.; and the Blue Heron building at 11208 Blue Heron Blvd. The company also owns the Northern Trust Plaza in Sarasota.

"Tampa is one of four markets we are targeting," Ackerman says. "We're probably looking to eventually own a million square feet there."

The new ownership, legally known as Pointe Watermark LLC, mortgaged the buildings to Minnesota Life Insurance for $4.33 million.

Elliott Ross and James Moler of The Ross Realty Group, Inc., represented the seller in the transaction.

Pollack Partners, Mainsail

plan Westshore apartments

Atlanta-based Pollack Partners and Tampa-based Mainsail Development Group have announced plans to build a $42 million luxury apartment community near Tampa's Westshore district. The partnership expects to start construction on the development, located on Hillsborough Avenue off Veterans Highway just west of Tampa Bay International Airport, next summer.

The gated complex as currently designed will have 320 one- and two-bedroom apartments. The development will also feature a swimming pool and sun deck overlooking a pond, fitness room, and a clubhouse.

"There has been very little apartment development in this area in recent years, and we feel this is a great opportunity," Marc Pollack, chairman and CEO of Pollack Partners said in a press release.


John Neal buys half of University Park club

BUYER: Keswick Investments LLC (principals: John Neal and James Schier), Bradenton and University Park Partners LLC (principal: Michael Hartenstine), Sarasota

SELLER: Southern Capital Acceptance Corp., Erop Corp., Kirtmoor Corp., University Park Lifestyles Inc., Woodlands Country Club Associates LLP, Pacific Equity Associates LLP, Cambridge Resources Group LLP, Dorset Capital Group LLP, Northern Capital Group, William Harrison Jr. as trustee, Durable Investments Inc. and Kabara Corp. sold to Keswick Investments LLC

PROPERTY: 7671 the Park Boulevard, University Park

PRICE: $4.01 million

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen, Sarasota

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Pat Neal, president of Neal Communities Inc., has sold his half interest in the University Park Country Club and golf course to his son, John Neal.

The family of Pat Neal's original partner in University Park, Rolf Pasold of Lucern, Geneva, has retained its half ownership in the country club and golf course.

The 320-acre golf course features 27 holes, a practice green, a driving range and a short game practice area.

Aside from the golf course, the clubhouse features a 5,250-square-foot Park Grille & Cafe, the Varsity Club lounge, card room and food and beverage services, a pro shop, tennis center, fitness center and cart and maintenance buildings.

Simultaneous with the ownership change, the management of the country club has changed its membership program.

"We were selling membership plans to convert the golf course over to private when we reached 540 members," Pat Neal says. "We only reached 343 memberships. So we've changed the membership program so that members can get all the advantages of a private membership at less cost."

The course will become semi-private, and the public will be able to book unsold tee times up to three days ahead of time. Members will get preferential booking up three days prior to a tee time. So far, the golf course/country club owners have sold 609 of the new memberships.

Neal says that prior to its operation as a private course, the golf course would have 84,000 plays a year, but as a membership-only course it only averaged 40,000 plays a year.

"The course was not profitable at 40,000 plays," he says. "It was very profitable at 84,000 plays a year. After the first five days of play, I've been very pleased and surprised by the results. It's too early to tell if we will get all the way back up to where we where, but we have some unique advantages such as a very experienced management team, a great location, a great course condition and a highly ranked course."

Lakewood Ranch developer

donates land to MCC

Lakewood Ranch master developer Schroeder-Manatee Ranch plans to donate five acres to Manatee County for a second building in the Lakewood Ranch Corporate Park at 7131 Professional Parkway East. The land, valued at $1 million, is adjacent to the original five acres donated by Schroeder-Manatee Ranch for the existing Center for Innovation and Technology.

"We believe in the value of higher education and see MCC as excellent partners," SMR President and CEO Rex Jensen said in a press release. "Businesses, non-profits, chambers of commerce, and arts organizations - as well as individuals - benefit greatly by the services offered at MCC."

Faced with significant enrollment growth, MCC District Board of Trustees applied for and received $919,759 in state Public Education Capitol Outlay funds to pay for planning the new building. As currently conceived, the 40,000-square-foot building would house the college's education and health-related programs. Construction is expected to start sometime next year.

The college is expected to need another $8 million in PECO funds from the state to construct the new building.

Former Pulte executive

heads Taylor Morrison

Sheryl Palmer has been named CEO for Bradenton-based Taylor Morrison, the nation's 15th largest home builder.

Taylor Morrison was formed following the July 3 merger of British home builders Taylor Woodrow plc and George Wimpey plc, which created the United Kingdom's largest home builder, Taylor Wimpey plc.

The newly named Taylor Morrison will handle Taylor Wimpey's North American interests.

Palmer has more than 20 years experience in land acquisition, sales, marketing, development and operations management. She has spent most of her career in the Arizona, California and Nevada real estate markets, including eight years as division president at Blackhawk Corp., a builder of active-adult communities in northern California.

In addition, she served with Pulte for more than five years, beginning in the Phoenix market and ultimately serving as Nevada area president, supervising all aspects of operations for its Del Webb and Pulte communities.

Palmer will oversee Taylor Morrison's U.S. and Canadian operations.

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