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Business Observer Friday, Apr. 16, 2004 15 years ago

Real Estate Briefs (Sara/Mana edition)

This week's items: Tierra Verde developers buy Bongos restaurantOwner buys final piece of St. Armands PharmacyStarling buys land, sells to HealthSouthCircle K Corp. purchased, sells three Bradenton stores

Real Estate Briefs (Sara/Mana edition)

Tierra Verde developers

buy Bongos restaurant

Scott Cramer and Sanford Katz, both of Tierra Verde, purchased the former Bongos restaurant at 9915 Manatee Ave. W. in Bradenton from Alfred and Barbara Parente for $1.1 million. According to Katz, the developers plan to build a townhome development on the site. "We will only be building about 10 units," Katz says. "We will be tearing down the Bongos restaurant on May 4. We were mainly attracted to the property because it offered waterfront. All of the units will feature boat docks. These are already in place."

The duo has built several townhome and high-rise developments in Treasure Island and Terra Verde. The townhomes are priced from $750,000 to $850,000. The new owners will also act as the general contactor for the project. Katz says the developer plans to start vertical construction by June.

Owner buys final piece

of St. Armands Pharmacy

After working about 26 years for St. Armands Pharmacy Inc., located at 19 N. Boulevard of the Presidents, Tim Horvath and his wife, Patricia, are now the sole owners of the drug store, sandwich counter and old-fashion soda shop. Horvath started working in the store in 1978 as a pharmacist, and in 1999, he bought a significant share of the ownership.

"It was just to the point where I got the right financing to pay him off completely," Horvath says. According to a deed recently filed in Sarasota County, the Horvathes purchased the property from William Evans for $1.2 million. The store property also features a UPS mailing location.

The Horvathes took out a mortgage for $1.6 million on the property from Wachovia Commercial Mortgage Inc. and an additional $632,000 mortgage from Wachovia SBA Lending Inc.

Starling buys land,

sells to HealthSouth

Sarasota's The Starling Group recently sold land on Bee Ridge Road on the northeast side of Interstate 75 in Ridge Lake Business Park to Birmingham, Ala.-based HealthSouth Corp. for a long-term acute care facility. According to recently recorded deeds, The Starling Group purchased the property from Edmund Ansin for $7.6 million and then transferred the property to HealthSouth for $3.3 million. Calls to the Starling Group to explain the price difference were not returned before deadline. However, GCBR previously reported that the Startling Group would continue to own the facility and lease it to HealthSouth. The new 45,000-square-foot facility will have a total of 40 beds.

HealthSouth is the nation's largest provider of outpatient surgery, diagnostic imaging and rehabilitative healthcare services, operating nearly 1,700 facilities nationwide and abroad.

Circle K Corp. purchased,

sells three Bradenton stores

Several local Circle K convenience stores have been changing hands following Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.'s acquisition of the Circle K Corp. from ConocoPhillips Co. in December of last year. As part of the deal, Alimentation Couche-Tard became the owner of a chain of 1,663 stores in 16 states and the owner of franchising and license agreements with more than 627 stores.

Escondido, Calif.-based Realty Income Corp. purchased two Bradenton store locations from Circle K Stores Inc. for a total of $1.07 million. The purchase was part of the company's purchase of about 112 stores for a total of about $100.5 million.

At the same time, San Francisco-based Skyline Pacific Properties purchased a third Bradenton location from Circle K Stores for $640,000.

The purchases are not expected to affect operation of the stores. Circle K Corp. has entered into long-term net-lease relationships with the new property owners.

Lee Wetherington looks

to break 2003 record

Lee Wetherington Cos. officials have reason to celebrate. Sales revenue for the first quarter of 2004 was up by 70.8% over the same quarter last year. The Sarasota company sold a total of 119 homes for a total sale figure of $50.9 compared to 83 homes in the first quarter of 2003 with $29.3 million in sales. As of April 12, the company had sold 149 homes compared to last year's 101, a gain of 48 homes or 47.5% This growth rate is especially significant given the fact that 2003 was a record sales year.

"There are lots of reasons for that growth," says Lee Wetherington, owner and president. "We had great locations. We have improved our sales teams dramatically over the last 12 months. We hired a sales manager, and he hired some really good people. The housing market is still doing well. We have gone to a team system (two sales people) for our models. Every now and then all the stars align."

Wetherington says that if the rate were to continue at the same pace, the company would reach last year's revenue total in the third quarter. "But it is going to slow down after the season," Wetherington says. "Then it will pick back up again. At the same time, we are managing to meet our delivery dates. We are currently at 98% for on-time delivery."

Lee Wetherington Cos. builds homes in Ashley Trace at University Place, on University Parkway; Savannah Lakes in River Wilderness; and several neighborhoods in Lakewood Ranch: Greenbrook Trails/Greenbrook Vistas and The Country Club (Mizner Reserve, Kingsmill, Legends Walk, Keswick, Montclair, Belmont, Dominion). In Sarasota County, the builder offers its homes in Willowbend, at U.S. 41; in Tuscana, on Proctor Road; and in The Founders Club, on Fruitville Road.


× RaceTrac Petroleum purchased property on Electric Boulevard and Fruitville Road from Arthur Andersen LLP for $1.7 million.

× M&A Enterprises LLC purchased an 8,000-square-foot building at 4380 Independence Court from Gordon and Gail MacPhail from $545,000. John Harshman, president of Harshman & Co. Inc., handled the transaction.

× The Sarasota office of the general contracting firm of Hennessy Construction Services was awarded the construction contract for the 1250 Holdings Project at 1250 S. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. The new 46,065-square-foot, four-story medical office building will feature an atrium area with a skylight, granite walls and flooring, fountains, glass panel elevators and railings. The architect of record is The Tichenor Group. The project has an estimated construction value of about $6 million.

× 1564 Main LLC purchased a 10,000-square-foot retail building running along 1564-1578 Main St. in Sarasota from Jane Nelson, Richard Martin and Longport Properties Inc. There are no plans for changes to the property. John Harshman, president of Harshman & Co. Inc., handled the transaction.

× The Sarasota office of the general contracting firm of Hennessy Construction Services has been awarded the WCI Communities Inc. sales and design center contract at the Venetian Golf and River Club at 102 Pesaro Drive, Venice. Construction started on the new 14,000-square-foot, one-story building earlier this year, and the facility is scheduled for completion in September. WCI Architecture and Land Planning Inc. is the architect for the project. The project is valued at about $1.3 million.

× Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based Corvus International LLC selected Lifestyle Properties of Sarasota as the exclusive real estate brokerage company for the new Bel Mare residential community and retail area within Riviera Dunes in Palmetto. There are 12 sales associates in all at Bel Mare, where the sales center recently opened. Sales began this month. Located on 32 acres, Bel Mare will have 168 condominium residences in three high-rise buildings located within Riviera Dunes Resort and Yacht Club, a 228-acre gated community just north of the Manatee River.

× Orlando-based CNL Net Lease Funding 2003 LLC purchased an 8,500-square-foot Sweet Tomatoes restaurant location, at 4994 S. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota, from Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp. for $2.7 million. Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp., the parent company of Sweet Tomatoes, is expected to remain in the location and lease the operation back from CNL Net Lease Funding.

× Lexington Contract Sales has leased 750 square feet at 4545 Marriotti, Unit A in Sarasota from Lawrence Hankin. Rico Boeras, of Preferred Commercial Inc., was the broker for the transaction.

× Venice's Waterford Cos. purchased five lots in the Myakka Trails area from Fourth Quarter Properties XXV LLC for $765,000. The lots range in size from five acres to about 15 acres. The luxury-homes will be located in a gated community.

× Dr. John Lieurance of Sarasota purchased a 9,000-square-foot professional building at 2222 S. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota from Robert and Rona Kantor for $2.15 million.

× Ellenton Central LLP has purchased 1.9 acres at 3615 N. U.S. 301 in Ellenton from SunTrust Bank, as trustee, for $490,000. Rico Boeras, of Preferred Commercial Inc., was listing broker, and Erick Shumway, of Re/Max Suncoast Realty, was the selling broker.

× BELFOR USA of Tampa has demolished and removed the collapsed commission chamber roof at the Robert L. Anderson Administration Center, 4000 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice. BELFOR is installing a temporary protective covering over the collapsed area.

BELFOR USA of Tampa, a firm specializing in building restoration services, was hired to do the cleanup and debris removal by the county's insurer, Crum & Forster.

× The U.S. Tower Division of Taylor Woodrow, plans to top off Tower IV in Meridian Towers at the Oaks Preserve, a luxury high-rise residence in Osprey near Sarasota in May. Frank Cirillo, project manager for Taylor Woodrow's U.S. Tower Division, said only 12 luxury condominiums remain for sale in Tower IV, expected to be completed in November. Only two condominiums remain for sale in Tower III, Cirillo said. Both towers offer 31 residences that range in size from 2,055 square feet of living space to 3,738 square feet.

Two- and three-bedroom residences at Meridian Towers at the Oaks Preserve are priced from $400,000 to more than $1 million. Cirillo said architects Curts, Hall, Gains, Jones, are already designing Tower V and Tower VI, where units will range in price from the $500,000s to more than $1 million. Presales in the next two towers are slated to start later this year.

× Bradenton's Bruce Williams Homes has unveiled five new model homes at Lexington at Parrish, located off U.S. 301 east of Interstate 75 near Chin Road, and posted sales of 25 homes in less than 30 days. Peter Mason, vice president of sales and marketing, says sales totaled more than $7.2 million. There are 253 home sites at Lexington.

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