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Business Observer Friday, Oct. 24, 2003 15 years ago

Real Estate Briefs

This week's items: Ringling Square developers acquire final parcelGarden Center sold, renamed MRT Lawn, Garden Center New developers start Sarasota shopping centerDenholtz purchases land next to former Andersen building

Real Estate Briefs

Ringling Square developers

acquire final parcel

The developers of the planned Ringling Square purchased the final piece of land needed to build the multistory mixed-used development at the intersection of Ringling Boulevard and Orange Avenue. Sarasotans Doug Tibbetts, Brian Sullivan, John Michael Smith and Boca Grande resident Gary Sligar bought about 10,000 square feet at 235 Orange Ave. from Stanley Tsigounis Jr., individual and trust, for $840,000. "We will probably clear the site later this year," Tibbetts says. Ground breaking is scheduled for February or March.

In the new few weeks, the partners will file a building permit application to develop a five-story, 42,220-square-foot office and retail building. The facility will offer internal parking for about 144 cars. About 38,000 square feet will be reserved for office space.

The development requires completion of the nearby 2,800-square-foot Ringling Place building, 1630 Ringling Blvd. The same group of developers renovated and refurbished the Hillview Square, at 1830 Osprey Ave. S.

Garden Center sold, renamed MRT Lawn, Garden Center

Elizabeth and David Taylor bought the 9,400-square-foot garden center and 5,000-square-foot green house at 5175 Englewood Road, from Green Earth Garden Center Inc. for $525,000. The Taylors plan to rename the business MRT Lawn and Garden Center and employ six people.

David Taylor, who developed the Venetia residential area in Venice with his two brothers, says running a garden center will be a new experience. "The main things is to staff it with people knowledgeable of the industry," Taylor says. "It's that extra knowledge that will make people come here over a big box."

The Taylors plan to renovate the store to fit in with the county's proposed State Road 776 plan. That will basically mean reroofing the facility and painting the exterior in addition to regular interior clean up.

New developers start

Sarasota shopping center

A new $2 million shopping center is under construction in south Sarasota. Two development newcomers, Ken Chester and Bob Hull, have started construction on the South Bridge Crossing, 17,080-square-foot shopping center building, along with a 6,000-square-foot freestanding Stonewood Tavern and Grill building. The center is located on about 3 acres on Stickney Point Road, west of Stickney Point and Tamiami Trail.

Chester, formerly the head of a pharmaceuticals company, says he came to Sarasota to retire. Instead he wound up going into development and into imports and exports. Hull, who lives part time in LaPorte, Ind., runs a foundry in Indiana.

Splash Fun N Sun, which will take 5,000 square feet, will be one of the two anchors in the main shopping center buildings. "We are not looking for any specific business, but we want to keep up the upscale ambiance," Chester says. The rental rate for the remaining about 13,000 square feet is $24 a square foot triple net.

Hull and Chester purchased the land from hotel developer Ron Allen last year. Chester says that Allen had owned the property, zoned for a hotel, to protect his adjacent Holiday Inn.

The general contractor for the unnamed shopping center is Sarasota-based D.E. Murphy Constructors Inc. Bank of Commerce is financing the project, and Norman Sharrit is the architect of record.

Denholtz purchases land next to former Andersen building

Denholtz Associates, a Rahway, N.J.-based privately held development, investment and management company, bought about 8 acres next to the Commerce Center office building in Sarasota Commerce Center from Arthur Andersen LLP for $1.54 million. Denholtz Associates is currently in the planning stages for this site, which could accommodate more than 100,000 square feet of Class-A office space. The parcel, half a mile from the I-75 interchange on Fruitville Road, is located near a 3-acre lake, two class-A office buildings, several national restaurants and a bank.

Stewart Denholtz, managing director of Florida operations for Denholtz, says that the company will likely build two or three office buildings to accommodate multiple tenants.

Denholz says: "That area is a high-growth area. We are seeing that from Tampa to the Naples, the wave of the future is the I-75 corridor." Denholtz Associates mortgaged the parcel to Century Bank FSB for $1.05 million.

Denholtz Associates owns the Commerce Center building, a three-story Class-A 81,000-square-foot office building adjacent to this newly acquired site. Tenants in the center include Blue Cross, State Farm, Cendant Corp., CSC Computer Corp and Sarasota County. Denholtz Associates, operates offices in West Palm Beach, Orlando, Tampa and Fort Lauderdale.


× Sarasota's McCarley Oil Co. Inc. bought commercial land at 18 Houle Ave. and 117 and 121 Avant St. from Beaver/Fruitville Limited Partnership sold to for $270,000.

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