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Business Observer Friday, Nov. 2, 2007 12 years ago

Commercial Real Estate Briefs

John Hicks Co. buys Venetian at Capri IslesPaving company buys Palmetto CoxTarmac buysindustrial landPorterfield family buys Pewett CenterGeorgia developer builds Slater Road CVSPrudential Realty, CLW buy Thompson centerClearwater landlord buys Gateway ApartmentsInland Real Estate buys Citizens Insurance officeGraybar Electric buys existing warehouse building

Commercial Real Estate Briefs

by Sean Roth | Real Estate Editor


John Hicks Co. buys Venetian at Capri Isles

BUYER: The Venetian at Capri Isles I LLC (35% interest), The Venetian At Capri Isles II LLC to The Venetian At Capri Isles VI LLC (6% interest each), The Venetian At Capri Isles VII LLC to The Venetian At Capri Isles XV LLC (3% interest), The Venetian At Capri Isles XVI LLC (2% interest) and The Venetian At Capri Isles XVII LLC to The Venetian At Capri Isles XXII LLC (1% interest) (principal: The John Hicks Co. LLC), Dublin, Ohio


PROPERTY: 1050 Capri Isle Blvd., Venice

PRICE: $14.83 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $7.7 million, August 2002

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Adams Babner & Gitlitz LLC, Columbus, Ohio

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Dublin, Ohio-based real estate firm The John Hicks Co. LLC acquired the 19-building, 180-unit Venetian At Capri Isles apartment complex in Venice near the Capri Isles Golf Course for nearly $15 million.

"We're going to keep it as a rental," says John Hicks, CEO and president of the company. "We do plan to paint it and renovate it. It's already in pretty good shape. We'll also be adding a fitness center. It is an excellent buy in the Venice market."

The total renovation, which will also feature landscaping, parking lot and unit-interior improvements, is budgeted to cost $400,000.

Hicks says his firm, which principally focuses on shopping centers and apartment complexes, has two other deals in the works in the Gulf Coast market, but so far none he can talk about. The company manages 7,000 apartment units on the west coast of Florida.

The John Hicks Co. hired Cincinnati's Eagle Realty Group to operate the Venice property.

The new ownership mortgaged the property to Greenwich Capital Financial Products Inc. for $10 million.

Paving company

buys Palmetto Cox

BUYER: Palmetto 1105 LLC (principals: Ron and Rhett Webber), Sarasota

SELLER: Cox Lumber Co. fka Cox Lumber and Supply Co.

PROPERTY: 1105 E. 16th Ave., Palmetto

PRICE: $1.36 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $600,000, February 2001

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Holland & Knight LLP, Orlando

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Contractor Ron Webber and his son Rhett Webber bought a former Cox lumberyard, which includes a 14,036-square-foot warehouse building on 2.84 acres on 16th Avenue East near U.S. 301, for $1.36 million.

Faced with uncertainty in the residential market, Webber, who had originally planned to use it to house materials for his paving company, R. Webber Inc., decided instead to lease it out. Phoenix-based Phoenix Natural Stone Manufacturing, which produces landscape pavers for big box retailers like Home Depot and Lowes, has signed a 24-month lease.

Roberta Kolton, of Michael Saunders & Co. Commercial Group, was the transaction broker for both the lease and sale.

"About 90% of the site is concrete paved," Kolton says. "You really can't reproduce that with today's [building] codes with landscaping [and setback requirements]. This means that they will be able to manufacture [its] brick pavers inside and store it outside before it's shipped."

Kolton says that by leasing the property, the Webbers will be able to keep the building in their portfolio allow them to assume it when construction conditions improve.

The Webbers, using the buying entity Palmetto 1105 LLC, mortgaged the property to Branch Banking and Trust Co. for $1.09 million.

Tarmac buys

industrial land

BUYER: Tarmac America LLC (principals: Aris Papadopoulos, Hardy Johnson, Russell Fink, Lawrence Wilt Jr., Robert Sells and Fokion Tasoulas), Deerfield Beach

SELLER: Sent Holdings Inc.

PROPERTY: 6520 E. 33rd St., Bradenton

PRICE: $1.43 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $190,000 February 1998

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Robert W. Browning Jr. PA, Sarasota

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Norfolk, Va.-based cement and building material firm Titan America LLC's Tarmac America LLC purchased 4.5 acres in Oneco Park for $1.43 million. Officials with Titan America or Tarmac did not return calls for comment prior to press time.

Tarmac is joined in Oneco by fellow concrete firm Schwab Ready Mix Inc., which bought a 4.5-acre parcel at 1923 63rd Ave. E. in Oneco Park in November of 2005

Tarmac, acquired by Titan America in 2000, sells ready-mixed concrete, concrete block and sand statewide

The conglomerate Titan America LLC houses Essex Cement LLC, Roanoke Cement LLC, Separation Technologies LLC and Tarmac America LLC, Titan Virginia Ready-Mix LLC and Titan Florida Cement and Aggregates. It operates cement plants, ready-mix concrete plants, concrete block plants, quarries, import and rail terminals and fly-ash production facilities. In 2006, Titan America's revenues last year were about $900 million, and the company employed 2,300 people.


• The Charles & Chase Group Inc. has begun construction on Landmark Bank's newest location. Jerry N. Zoller designed the 6,000-square-foot building at 6020 Lakewood Ranch Blvd. The building is scheduled for completion toward the end of the first quarter of 2008.


Porterfield family buys Pewett Center

BUYER: Henry and Ellen Porterfield, Fort Myers

SELLER: David Stoneburner and Gary and Karen Tasman

PROPERTY: 12709-31 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers

PRICE: $3.18 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $1.45 million, May 1999

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Edward R. Bryant Jr., Esq., Naples

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Henry and Ellen Porterfield purchased a 40,904-square-foot mixed-used retail, office and residential complex known as the Pewett Center near McGregor Boulevard and College Parkway for $3.18 million. Gary Tasman, Shawn Stoneburner and Brandon Stoneburner of Cushman & Wakefield in Fort Myers negotiated the transaction.

"It's a non-anchored retail center with a cluster of 40 mainly antique store and craft-type businesses," says Tasman, who also had an equity stake in the former ownership. "We've owned it for eight or nine years, and we were just ready to move on to our next investment. We decided we were either going to refinance to take our equity out or sell it. In the end selling it just made more sense."

The former owners already have another shopping center property under contract, Tasman says, and it is currently conducting its due diligence. The purchase equated to an 8.25% capitalization rate, according to Tasman.

The 11-building center, which sites on 3.25 acres, also houses a restaurant tenant.

The Porterfields mortgaged the property to Northern Trust for $1.27 million.

Georgia developer

builds Slater Road CVS

BUYER: GH&G Slater LLC (principal: William Gryboski), Decatur, Ga.


PROPERTY: 16200 Slater Road and a separate corner lot, North Fort Myers

PRICE: $1.23 million


LAW FIRM ON DEED: Itzler & Itzler PA, Fort Lauderdale

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Decatur, Ga.-based retail developer Gryboski and Howe acquired 1.8 acres at the corner of Slater Road and Bayshore Road for $1.23 million.

Dan Howe, a partner with Gryboski and Howe has filed a notice of commencement to build a CVS Pharmacy at 6391 Bayshore Road, but the document lists a tax folio showing the 16200 Slater Road property the company acquired.

Howe declined comment or to explain the address discrepancy.

Gryboski and Howe develops primarily retail strip centers, drugstores and grocery stores.

The company mortgaged the property to Compass Bank for $4.69 million.


• The U.S. Postal Service  will soon open a new facility in Cape Coral. McGarvey Development has leased 27,895 square feet of distribution space at Mid Cape Corporate Center to the USPS to be used as a carrier annex, where local carriers will sort and stage mail for local delivery. Located at 79 Mid Cape Terrace, the distribution center will initially house 48 routes. 

Mid Cape Corporate Center also includes four Class A Office buildings. McGarvey Development recently completed construction of the first building.

• Naples-based planning, design, and engineering firm WilsonMiller Inc. has opened a new Sebring office in the Wachovia Building at 3200 U.S. 27 S., Suite 206.

"Significant growth along the Heartland corridor prompted our decision to establish a presence in Sebring," Michael Kennedy, WilsonMiller executive vice president and principal, said in a press release.  The firm has begun work on its first major Sebring-area project, redevelopment of the Kennelworth Golf Club. The new Sebring office is one of 11 WilsonMiller offices.

• Boros Brothers Builders LLC and Robert and Zsolt Boros leased 2,160 square feet at The Metro Commerce Park Condo from Elite Electrical Investments LLC. John Kremski of Gates D'Alessandro & Woodyard Realtors negotiated the transaction

• Stevens Construction has completed construction of the Azul Cosmetic Surgery and Medical Spa. The 7,500-square-foot facility is located in the Parker Commons office complex off Daniels Parkway in Fort Myers. The building will house Dr. Patrick Flaharty's facial cosmetic surgery practice and medical spa, with three additional suites, which are being offered for sale or lease. The facility includes six exam rooms, six treatment rooms, nurses' stations and office space. The building also has a pilates/yoga room and a conference area to host monthly seminars.

• The Florida Department of Transportation hired Fort Myers-based Priority Marketing, a full-service marketing and public relations firm, to create a name and logo for the planned $430-million major expansion of Interstate 75 from Fort Myers to Naples. The agency developed the acronym iROX, which stands for I-75 Road Expansion Project, and also created logo, which can already be seen on multiple banners lining the I-75 corridor. Groundbreaking for the 30-mile expansion was scheduled to for Oct. 26.

• Fifth Third Bank purchased vacant land in the Eagle View Professional Park at 2500 Goodlette Road in Naples from Cameron Real Estate Services for $1.4 million. Larry Foster CCIM, Bill Young, Dan O'Berski and Glenda Fortune, all of CB Richard Ellis Fort Myers-Naples brokered the transaction. 

• Ying's Realty Corp. purchased the IHOP-Cape Coral, a 5,607-square-foot building on 1.25 acre at 1706 Del Prado in Cape Coral, from Gracie Finkel Freedman for $1.25 million. Fred Kermani CCIM of CB Richard Ellis Fort Myers-Naples represented the seller, and Peggy and Gary Milner of C21-Sunbelt Realty Inc. represented the buyer. The new owner plans to convert the property to a Chinese restaurant.

• Media Pac Inc. leased 2,400 square feet at 12065 Metro Parkway in Fort Myers from MGM Enterprise. Scott Miller of CB Richard Ellis Fort Myers-Naples brokered the transaction.

• Bateman Property Investment LLC purchased 2.06 acres of industrial land at 3260 Cargo Street, Fort Myers, from V-V Ventures, LLC for $525,000. Jim Garinger, CCIM, and Andrew Falde of Colliers Arnold represented the buyer, and Pam Van Vleck of VIP Commercial-TCN Worldwide represented the seller.

• Tuesday Morning leased 6,933 square feet of retail space in Murdock Plaza at 1700 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte from S. K. Properties. Karl T. Lippek of Colliers Arnold represented landlord, and Nancy Criswell of Melville & Associates represented the tenant.

• John Stroemer awarded Fort Myers-based J.L. Wallace Inc. a contract to build a new office building off Metropolis Avenue. The 17,500-square-foot building will have two stories. Stroemer and Co. will occupy the second floor, and the first floor will be made available for lease. Groundbreaking on the project is expected to take place in early December, and construction is scheduled for completion in July 2008. Kyle Kitchens provided architectural design services.

• Smarge Properties, LLC purchased a 1.51-acre industrial parcel at 3600 Shaw Blvd., Naples from Naples Properties LLC for $610,230. William V. Gonnering of Investment Properties Corp. negotiated the transaction.

• Fort Myers-based McGarvey Development has started construction on the first of four office buildings at Eastlinks Business Park at 12550 Professional Park Drive in the Gateway area of south Fort Myers. The building will offer 30,060 square feet of office space with units starting at 1,300 square feet. A total of 174,000 square feet of space will be available in the four buildings.

In addition, the Eastlinks Business Park will include three buildings with 173,000 square feet of industrial flex space. A separate 7.41-acre out parcel on Daniel Parkway is available for sale.

• Stevens Construction Inc. has begun an expansion and renovation project to the Shell Point Retirement Community at 15081 Shell Point Marina. The project includes covered entrances and courtyard renovations to provide an outdoor living space for residents of the Turban, Lucina and Junonia buildings. The three mid-rise buildings will have new covered entrances with curved aluminum sunshade trellises. The courtyard renovation also features brick pavers, decorative landscaping and seating areas for residents. Christopher Lee Architects provided the design.

Community renovation is scheduled for completion by January.

• Mark McCleary and Glenn Cribbett have started construction on Daniels Commons Office Park located on Daniels Commons Drive in Fort Myers. Daniels Commons will house two one-story 11,025-square-foot office buildings. Gates D'Alessandro & Woodyard LLC will market the park.

• Taylor-Pansing Inc. has completed construction on the Gatewood Glass Warehouse project. The 5,500-square-foot warehouse is a new addition to the Gatewood Glass Inc. business at 4551 Cummins Court in Fort Myers.

• Construction has been completed on the 25,177-square-foot corporate headquarters for Eagle Concrete Systems. Eagle Concrete designed the building, at 12411 Commerce Lakes Drive, Fort Myers to withstand hurricane-strength winds up to 150 mph and to demonstrate the company's tilt-wall, poured cast-in-place and concrete block construction. The company also constructed the roof from concrete for additional structural strength, and equipped the building with a diesel-powered generator. Jason Tramonte Architect Inc. designed the new headquarters.

• General Contractor Heatherwood Construction completed construction of a new office in Charlotte County at 28100 Challenger Blvd. in Punta Gorda. The new operations office will serve all of Charlotte County, Sarasota County and surrounding areas. The Bonita Springs-based builder is currently constructing Town Homes of Deep Creek and is preparing to start the Westchester Gold Office Building. 

• Children's Network of SW Florida LLC leased 7,000 square feet of office space at 2606 Horseshoe Drive, Naples from Bothwell Investment Gray Management Ltd. Jason Chang of Colliers Arnold represented the tenant.

• Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries leased 3,130 square feet of retail space in the Village Shoppes at Summerlin Road and Bass Road, Fort Myers from Talamh Associates LLC. The Retail Team of Karen Johnson-Crowther, Charlene Greenblatt, Salli Jones-Doyon, and Lindsey Schmoyer of Colliers Arnold represented the tenant, and Doug Olson of LandQwest Commercial represented the landlord.

• WilsonMiller, an engineering consulting firm, has completed the expansion of its Port Charlotte office, in the M&I Bank building at 1777 Tamiami Trail, Suite 206. The firm, which previously occupied an office on the fourth floor, now occupies the entire second floor of the building.

"Growth in the size of our staff and work potential in the Port Charlotte area, including southern DeSoto County, necessitated our move to larger quarters," WilsonMiller Senior Vice President and Principal J. Michael Bell, P.E., said in a press release.

• Fort Myers-based Vanasse & Daylor LLP has been awarded the annual contract for professional landscape architecture services for several Lee County projects. This is the fourth consecutive year the contract has been awarded to the firm.

• PT&D International Inc. leased 7,500 square feet of space in the Metro Distribution Center at 3090 Sivan Road in Fort Myers from BLS Holdings. Stan Stouder of CB Richard Ellis, Fort Myers-Naples brokered the transaction.

• Rosemary Holdings LLC purchased Horseshoe Village unit 1 at 2805 Horseshoe Drive in Naples from Horseshoe Holdings LLC for $475,000. George B. Atkinson and Scott R. Dunnuck, both of CB Richard Ellis Fort Myers-Naples brokered the transaction.


Prudential Realty, CLW buy Thompson center

BUYER: WCOT Thompson & Benjamin LLC,

SELLER: First Industrial LP

PROPERTY: 5925-6313 Benjamin Road and 5802 and 5801 Benjamin Center Drive, Tampa

PRICE: $46.95 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $16.7 million, July 2001; $4.1 million, December 1997 and $5.4 million, December 1997

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP, Chicago

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: An investment group made up of associates in Tampa's CLW Real Estate Services Group and majority owned by Prudential Realty Advisors purchased the seven-building Thompson Center on Benjamin Road and five buildings in the nearby Benjamin Center development for $47 million.

The 12 buildings house a total of 490,000 square feet of flex space and feature individual tenant space from 25,000 up to 60,000 square feet. The two properties had an average occupancy of 95%. One of the architects of the deal was Ross Kirk, managing member of CLW Industrial Group. Kirk was formerly one half of Thompson Kirk Properties, whose predecessor company Thompson Ruben Associates developed the Thompson Center.

Thompson Kirk Properties eventually sold Thompson Center to First Industrial in 1997. Kirk in turn worked for First Industrial - who acquired the Benjamin Center in 2001 - for about seven years until 2005, when he partnered with Lou Varsames and Doug Rothschild of CLW Real Estate Services Group. Varsames has his own connection to the properties; he formerly worked for Towermarc, the developer of Benjamin Center.

"So we have a lot of prior history being involved with these particular properties," Kirk says.

"It is the right product for the market and has historically run at a high occupancy. That submarket (north of the Tampa International Airport) is built out and is one of the healthiest submarkets in the entire Hillsborough and Pinellas counties market. The current va cancy there is only 4%."

Clearwater landlord

buys Gateway Apartments

BUYER: Mallah Enterprises (principal: Benjamin Mallah), Clearwater

SELLER: 2000 Gandy LLC, Miami

PROPERTY: 2000 Gandy Blvd., St. Petersburg

PRICE: $7.78 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $6.82 million, July 2005

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Clearwater apartment owner Benjamin Mallah purchased the 144-unit Gateway Apartments complex on Gandy Boulevard in St. Petersburg for $7.78 million or $54,000 a unit. John Burpee, president of NAI Tampa Bay and chairman of NAI Global's Multifamily Group, handled the transaction.

The former ownership, a Miami partnership that included Jeff Sherman, purchased the property in mid-2005 with the hope of converting the apartment units to condominiums just as the residential market demand crashed, Burpee says.

"They had some presales, but not enough to go through the complete process," Burpee says. "They already had converted it for sale. Now we'll just be keeping it a market-rate rental. That submarket is known as a telecom corridor so there should be a very upscale tenant base."

Because of improvements made to the property to prepare it for condominium sales, the new owner is not anticipating the need for any renovations in the near-term.

Mallah owns some 1500 apartment units in the Tampa Bay area and another 1,100 units in Texas, according to Burpee.

Inland Real Estate

buys Citizens Insurance office

BUYER: Tampa-Coconut Palms Office Building 1031 LLC, Oak Brook, Ill.


PROPERTY: 3802 Coconut Palm Drive, Tampa

PRICE: $11.41 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $4.58 million

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Greenberg Traurig PA, Orlando

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: The Oak Brook, Ill.-based Inland Real Estate Group of Cos. Inc.'s company purchased a 60,000-square-foot office building on Coconut Palm Drive in Tampa for $11.4 million. The two-story building currently serves as the Tampa office for Citizens Property Insurance Corp.

"This is the second Citizens Insurance building we have purchased in the last couple of years for companies in the Inland group," Joe Cosenza, vice chairman of the Inland Real Estate Group of Cos. Inc., said in a written statement. "This is an excellent office property and an opportunity to work with a stellar tenant. The rent is good, more than $17 per square foot, the parking is good and Citizens Insurance has an A-plus S&P credit rating." Citizens Property Insurance has a long-term full-service lease on the building.

Graybar Electric buys existing warehouse building

BUYER: Graybar Electric Co. Inc. (principals: R.A. Reynolds, D.B. D'ALESSANDRO, J.N. Reed, T.F. Dowd, L.G. Giglio and M.J. Beagen), Clayton

SELLER: Atlantic Financial Group Ltd.

PROPERTY: 8520 Eagle Palm Drive, Riverview

PRICE: $9.77 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $1.96 million

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Greenberg Traurig LLP, Chicago

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: After leasing its Tampa Regional Zone warehouse location for seven years, St. Louis-based Graybar Electric Co. Inc. has decided its time to buy.

The electrical, telecommunications and security equipment distributor purchased the 208,000-square-foot warehouse facility for slightly less than $10 million. Graybar's Tampa site currently employs 98 people and replenishes Graybar's locations throughout most of Florida and a portion of southern Georgia.

A spokesperson for Graybar says the company has no plans to make changes to the facility at the moment.

Companywide, Graybar recorded more than $5 billion in revenue in 2006 and employs nearly 8,000 people in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico.


• Tampa investment group Tampa Bay Radiosurgical Associates LLC purchased land directly adjacent to Town and Country Hospital on Webb Road in Tampa to develop the CyberKnife Center of Tampa Bay. Construction on the 5,000-square-foot medical facility is scheduled to start in January and completion is slated for June. Tampa-based Precise Construction will be the general contractor for the project.

The developer plans is to create an open center based around The CyberKnife, an Accuray-made highly targeted radiation device to fight certain types of cancer. The planned center is expected to have the first CyberKnife in the Tampa Bay area. If the first facility is successful, the developer has plans to open a second similar location in Pinellas County.

• Cohen & Cohen Properties LLC purchased a 5,072-square-foot office building at 8201 N. Himes Ave., Tampa from West Florida Orthopedic Rehabilitation Inc. for $710,000. Mary Clare Codd and Ron Sparks of Colliers Arnold represented the seller. Jack Cohen of Carter & Associates represented the buyer.

• Bunzl Distribution Southeast LLC leased 117,042 square feet of industrial space in Sabal Park Distribution Center at 3737 Cragmont Drive, Tampa from ProLogis Trust. Edward Miller and Dolores Seymour of Colliers Arnold represented the tenant.

• Goodyear Tire & Rubber leased 21,600 square feet of industrial space in Oak Creek Commerce Park at 6309 Pelican Creek Circle, Riverview from Eastgroup Properties Inc. Mark McKell of Colliers Arnold represented the tenant, and Hal Piper of Eastgroup Properties represented the landlord.

• Priority Mortgage Corporation sublet 3,495 square feet of office space in Harborview Plaza at 3031 N. Rocky Point Drive, Tampa from TEKsystems. Mary Clare Codd of Colliers Arnold represented the sublessor.

• The GSA leased 3,242 square feet of office space in Park Tower at 400 N. Tampa St., Tampa, from Sterling American Property Inc. Claire Calzon of Colliers Arnold represented the landlord.

• Crescent Resources LLC recently announced that Corporate Center Four at International Plaza, the 247,000-square-foot, eight-story Class-A office building the firm is developing in the Westshore Business District at 4301 W. Boy Scout Blvd., Tampa will be the district's first LEED certified high-rise office building. Corporate Center Four started construction earlier this year and is scheduled to be ready for occupancy in the fourth quarter of 2008.

• GVA Advantis has been retained to market TriPointe Plaza, a proposed, 50,000-square foot office building in the Westshore Business District of Tampa. Located at 4488 W. Boy Scout Blvd., across from the International Plaza in Tampa, TriPointe Plaza is scheduled for delivery by August 2008. Its anchor tenant, Synovus Bank of Tampa Bay, has pre-leased 20,000 square feet of the building for the bank's Hillsborough County headquarters and a full-service retail-banking center. GVA Advantis will market the remaining two and a half floors of the building, totaling 30,000 square feet. Dallas-based Construction Management Technology is constructing TriPointe Plaza.

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