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Business Observer Monday, Feb. 17, 2020 1 month ago

Company purchases historic downtown building for $3.35 million

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Architect Thomas Reed Martin designed the building. It was completed in October 1936.

SARASOTA — Caldwell Trust Co. purchased the former Cain/Wilson Building at 27 S. Orange Ave. and the adjacent parking lot in downtown Sarasota. 

The independent trust company closed on the 8,000-square-foot building on Feb. 13 for $3.35 million. Joe C. Hembree of Sarasota-based Hembree & Associates handled the transaction. 

The purchase is Caldwell Trust's latest move to accommodate steady growth since its founding in 1993, according to CEO and President R. G. “Kelly” Caldwell Jr.

In 2015, the company built an 11,500-square-foot headquarters at 1400 Center Road in Venice. It has maintained a Sarasota presence since 1998 when it opened an office in Palmer Ranch. In June 2009, it established its current office at 1561 Main St. but is outgrowing the space. 

“We began searching for a place that could accommodate our needs now and into the future," says Caldwell in a statement. "We found the perfect solution at 27 South Orange Avenue." 

Architect Thomas Reed Martin designed the building. It was completed in October 1936. 

“We’re pleased that our new home has been part of Sarasota’s history for 84 years," says Caldwell in a statement. "Too often we see beautiful buildings demolished, only to be replaced by a condominium, a parking lot, or something else with less esthetic appeal than the original structure." 

The law firm of Clyde H. Wilson Sr. and Clyde H. Wilson Jr. moved into half of the Cain Building in 1973 and won an award for remodeling it. Wilson then bought the building to house its law offices and others and remained the owner until the current sale.

Caldwell Trust is in the design and planning phase for renovations. It plans to make minimal changes to the exterior. Plans include replacing existing windows with hurricane-proof windows, upgrading the front doors, updating the fountains and enhancing the building’s brick facade.

Nokomis-based contractors Eric DeVaughn and Sam Green of S & E Renovations Inc. will oversee construction. Holly Logan of HV Logan Design LLC will handle interior design.

Caldwell expects permits to be issued later this year, followed by eight to 12 months of construction. The company expects to occupy the building in or before fall 2021.

Caldwell Trust manages over $1 billion dollars in assets for clients throughout the U.S. It reported $8.03 million in gross revenue in 2018.

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