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Business Observer Friday, Jun. 11, 2004 16 years ago

Real Estate Briefs (Sara/Mana edition)

This week's items: Two partners plan building, garage for Churchills siteMI Pueblo owners buy University Walk land Harvey Vengroff plans 26-home developmentPremier Team buys new office

Real Estate Briefs (Sara/Mana edition)

Two partners plan building,

garage for Churchills site

With the Broadway Promenade, Alinri at the Renaissance of Sarasota and The Boulevard, attention is being focused on the northern end of downtown Sarasota. Get ready to add another building to that list. Mark Miller, co-owner of luxury waterfront homebuilder Waterside Investment Group Inc., and Chad Bratzke, the recently released defensive end for the Indianapolis Colts, have a contract to purchase about 1.17 acres at the intersection of Lemon Avenue and Fruitville Road from Churchill's Furniture Inc.

The partners have hired Joel Freedman, of the Freedman Consulting Group, and attorney Mike Furen, of Sarasota's Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen & Ginsburg, to get approval from the city for a seven-story, 124,600-square-foot office/retail building and a five-level, 375-space parking garage.

"There aren't too many places where you can get over an acre of land in downtown," Miller says. "We will be demolishing the (20,000-square-foot) building there and building a new 7-story office building, with possibly some retail on the first floor ... but definitely no residential units. That is one of the few sites that can have a bank drive-through. We are in talks with some banks right now."

Miller hopes to start construction/demolition by the end of the year. In the near term, Churchills is expected to lease back the building, while the developers obtain approvals for the project. Miller expects it to take 18 months to build.

Miller's company Westwater Construction Inc. will handle construction.

"This is the largest building we (Miller and Terry Conti, owners of Waterside Investment Group) have ever done," Miller says. "We are doing this project, Burns Court (23 upscale townhomes between Oak Street and Palm Avenue) and the property near our office (a 14-unit residential building the company purchased at 1233 Fruitville Road). We are really just trying to diversify. We also have another parcel that we plans for, but we are still in our due diligence phase."

Rental rates for the space are slated to range from $19 to $30 a square foot. DSDG Inc., Sarasota, has been hired to design the development.

MI Pueblo owners buy

University Walk land

Hugo Nunez, Michelle Buice and Bonifacio Caro, owners of the Mi Pueblo restaurants on Bee Ridge in Sarasota and U.S. 41 in Venice, bought an outparcel in University Walk from NAP University Walk O/P LLC for $575,000.

"We are going to build our largest restaurant location there," Buice says. "It is going to be an 150-seat Mexican restaurant with a courtyard. Eventually that is going to be for outdoor seating, but for now, we are going to use it as a nice waiting area. We are hoping to break ground in the next few days."

The three partners plan to open the new 6,000-square-foot restaurant before the year's end.

"It is going to be designed to look like a hacienda (a Mexican-style house)," Nunez says. "We will probably employ about 30 to 40 people."

The owners, who used the corporate name of Mi Pueblo Enterprises LLC for the transaction, mortgaged the property to Comerica Bank, $1.45 million.

Harvey Vengroff plans

26-home development

Sarasota entrepreneur Harvey Vengroff purchased five acres south of University Parkway and north of Myrtle Road from Ann Sommers and Bruce Ginsberg for $700,000.

"I'm planning to build workforce housing," he says. "I'm planning to put up 27 three-bedroom, two-bath single-family homes. They will all have two-car garages and will cost less than $150,000. I had initially proposed building them for $125,000, but there was too much opposition (from local residents.)"

Vengroff says he expects to get started in August or September. Sarasota-based Southern Cross Contracting Inc. has been hired as the general contractor.

Premier Team

buys new office

Marie Avery and Daniel Forbes, the owner/brokers of the Bradenton real estate agency Premier Team Inc., purchased a 3,000-square-foot building at 3850 S.R. 64 E. in Lakeside Office Park from Heatherwood Properties of Florida LLC for $550,000. The four-agent real estate company previously leased space in a suite at 3021-B Manatee Ave. W. in Bradenton.

"We will probably be occupying half of it and leasing out the other half," Avery says. "The Cole Layer Trumble Co. is already leasing space out there. We wanted a more central location. Being in real estate we are always counseling people to purchase, not rent. We wanted to be in an equity ownership position."

Premier Team Inc. mortgaged the property to Liberty Savings Bank for $440,000.

J&J Homes plans

90-acre Venice development

Venice-based J&J Homes purchased about 90 acres near the intersection of Jacaranda Boulevard and Venice Avenue in Venice from SADA Investments for $7.7 million. "We are definitely interested in doing some residential work down there," says Don Bamford, general manager/project manager. "We are also interested in doing some commercial work. But we are still planning. Nothing has been finalized. We still have to go through the comp plan review. We would like to try to get it started next year. Overall we just think it is a great piece of land. It is located at the gateway to Venice ... right off the Interstate."

Bamford says the property has few environmental issues, and it has all the city utility services.

"We know we are going to kick it off with the residential," Bamford says. "Right now, we are talking about somewhere in the range of 600 units. The commercial is not going to take off until the roof tops appear."

Company officials expect an about 20-year buildout period.

Hupp Realty buys land

for Tire Kingdom, Walgreens

The Tampa-based real estate investment firm of Hupp Realty Advisors has made exciting moves in recent weeks. The company purchased a vacant lot in Clark Road Industrial Center from O.D. Hudson, David Winkler, the David M. Winkler Revocable Trust and Ronald Marien and the Ronald J. Marien Trust for $900,0000. According to company President Andrew Hupp, the firm plans to build a 6,500-square-foot Tire Kingdom building on half of the land and a 6,200-square-foot retail building next door.

"We are currently permitting the Tire Kingdom building with the county," he says. "We hope to start (on that building) in the next 30 days. The land is near Clark Center Road just west of the Publix in Palmer Ranch. We will probably have a five-month turn around (on the Tire Kingdom)."

Hupp says the timeline for the second building will depend on how quickly tenants can be identified. "We are negotiating with a bank, but nothing has been signed so far," Hupp says.

Hupp Realty Advisors mortgaged the Clark Road site to First National Bank for a total of $1.5 million.

Simultaneously to the Tire Kingdom project, Hupp purchased a commercial building and land, the southwest intersection of Fruitville and Beneva roads in Sarasota, from Granada Street Associates Ltd. for $2.2 million and from Tenth Way Corp. for $1.5 million.

"We are planning a 14,820-square-foot Walgreens drugstore," Hupp says. "We got site plan approval about (four) weeks ago. We hope to break ground ... demolish the buildings in August. We are shooting for an opening in February of '05."

Hupp mortgaged the Beneva-Fruitville property to AmSouth Bank for $3.65 million.

Fidelity Homes

buys Talon Bay land

Fidelity Homes purchased 45 lots near Ortiz Boulevard in the gated community of Talon Bay subdivision in North Port from Talon Bay Properties LLC for $1.27 million. "We are planning to develop single-family attached villas and patio homes," says David Hunihan, president of Fidelity Homes. "This is going to be our maintenance free product. There will be a total of 225 homes there."

In the first phase of the development, Fidelity Homes will be developing 64 villa and 55 patio homes. "We have already sold 20 down there," Hunihan says. "They are going like hot cakes. We are working to have move-ins by the end of the year. We should open our models this fall."

The villa product will start at $190,000 for a complete move-in, which includes most appliances. The patio product, with the same finishes, is priced at $220,000.

ScoreCast owner

plans office building

Richard Halloy, president and CEO of Sarasota's ScoreCast Golf Tournament Software, purchased vacant commercial land at 4495 Fruitville Road in Sarasota from Cabot Land Trust Inc. for $415,000.

"I bought the property there to build an office building," Halloy says. "It's going to be an about 15,000-square-foot office condominium for sale or lease. I'm expecting to start construction this fall for completion in late spring."

Halloy has hired the Sarasota architectural firm of D.S.D.G. Inc. to design the building. Halloy's software company is expected to occupy space in the new building.

Asked about the expected cost of construction, Halloy says it should cost somewhere between $100 and $115 a square foot - roughly $1.5 million to about $1.73 million for the entire building.

Halloy mortgaged the property to Liberty Savings Bank for $290,500.


× Staples Inc. has opened its first office-supply store in University Park, at 5429 University Parkway. The University Park Staples store employs 30 associates. The new 20,000-square-foot store is among the growing number of Staples' "Dover" format stores. According to the company officials, the "Dover" redesign has increased the shopability of the Staples stores, providing better signage, logical product adjacencies and improved sight lines. Wider aisles and contemporary fixtures and lighting are designed to create a more customer-friendly shopping atmosphere.

× The Sarasota/Manatee division of US Home recently held two lotteries for newly released homesites in the Manatee County's Heritage Harbour neighborhood of Lighthouse Cove. More than 50 people were interested in the homesites and when they were released, they sold within an hour. One lottery was held in April and the second was held a few weekends ago. Homes are offered in one- and two-story floor plans and range in size from 1,500 square feet to 2,200 square feet. Home prices start in the $180,000s. Lighthouse Cove is located next to Heritage Harbour's Beacon Lake and Central Park and residents will have easy access to the fishing pier, picnic gazebos, soccer fields and ball fields.

× LifeGas LLC has leased 2,500 square feet of office/warehouse space at 7672 15th St. E., from Airport Commerce Center. The transaction was handled by Bill Rex, of Preferred Commercial Inc., and Airport Commerce Center.

× KMS II LLC purchased a commercial lot at 5641 Clark Road from Cattleridge Development Corp. for $900,000. KMS mortgaged the property to Florida Community Bank for $630,000.

× Oakmont Capital Resources Inc. bought units 5A and 5B of Garden Office Park at Lakewood Ranch, at 7319 Merchant Court, from Garden Office Park Associates LLC for $556,500. Oakmont Capital Resources mortgaged the property to Gold Bank for $612,800.

× April was a record month for property closings at Wagner Realty. Wagner agents participated in 137 closings for a total sales volume of about $108.6 million. "This very successful month is a result of closings in all areas of real estate," said David Eckel, president of Wagner Realty, "from residential homes to commercial properties to land acquisitions and are a reflection of our abilities to handle a full range of services for our customers."

The company recently started celebrating its 65th year in business. The Wagner Realty office at 2217 Gulf Drive housed Anna Maria Island's first real estate office, which opened in 1939 as Silver's Real Estate owned by Annie Silver. In 1958, after Silver's death Dorothy and Dick Wagner became the owners of the real estate firm and renamed the company Wagner Realty. Dorothy Wagner sold the company, after Dick Wagner's death, to its current broker/owner David Eckel in 1995. Today, Wagner Realty includes nine branch offices, 193 agents and nine property management offices.

× Bradenton-based Bruce Williams Homes has started presales of new three- and four-bedroom single-family homes priced from the $200s at Northwood Park, located off Erie Road and 69th Street East in Manatee County. Peter Mason, vice president of sales and marketing with Bruce Williams Homes, said 110 home sites are available at Northwood Park and two model homes that are under construction now will open before the end of the year.

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