Mike Carter discusses Old Main Street, interest rates and the Mangrove Grill.
Mike Carter Q&A
OWNER, FOUNDER, PRESIDENT
MIKE CARTER CONSTRUCTION INC.
Years in the business: 26. Mike Carter Construction Inc. was formed in 1977.
Past notable developments: 300,000-square-foot Beall's Distribution Center; Riviera Dunes Marina Resort in Palmetto, which includes Mangrove Grill; re-development of the 400 block of Old Main Street in downtown Bradenton, which includes a variety of mixed-use buildings and historical renovation.
Square feet of commercial real estate development: Approximately 700,000 square feet, which includes a variety of industrial, distribution, office, mixed-use and specialty development.
Where he lives: Parrish
What's going to drive development over the next 18 months to five years? "The incredible demand by primarily residential relocation that is currently under way and has no end in sight, and the support development necessary to support residential demand. Southwest Florida is one of highest-demand areas. We have magnificent water and beaches and quality of life, and obviously it has been discovered by a tremendous amount of people in the area.
Do you see rate of growth increasing? "Do I see it increasing much past where we currently are? Not really. Do I see it sustaining at this level in the foreseeable future? Yes."
What are the risks that concern you the most over this period? "Residential development is having a significant impact on interest rates. There is existing momentum in commercial and residential. The momentum will carry us into the next couple of years and set aside economic anomalies over the next few years. The momentum is so huge that it would take a considerable amount of time to slow the current pace."
What advice would you give to public officials to deal with this new development? "Continue to focus on sound development and the approval process, continue to provide quality development and continue to require quality development. By and large, I think they are doing that."
What mark do you want to leave on this area? "I'd like for us to be remembered for some of the unique things we've done. I hope some of those projects - the marina and downtown Bradenton developments - would be remembered well into the future. I hope our support of the community is remembered, as well as the quality of our employees."
Where do you go to escape the office? What types of recreation do you enjoy? "My family and I love to boat. We spend a great deal of time traveling around Florida and the islands on our boat. We also vacation in Boca Grande several times a year."
Favorite restaurant: Mangrove Grill
How do you stay ahead of the pack? "Our strategy is to focus on the specialty opportunities. We don't compete on a day-to-day basis with traditional developers. We try to look at niche markets that may be overlooked by traditional developers, such as the marina and historic downtown."
Key gadget on his desk: Boating magazines.