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Business Observer Monday, Jan. 26, 2004 16 years ago

Real Estate Briefs (Sara/Mana edition)

This week's items: SRQ Innovation Green moves slowly forwardKlingbeil Multifamily pays $12.7 million for Bay West Apartments Schroeder-Manatee Ranch fills final hole Wesco Turf principals buy former Sears building

Real Estate Briefs (Sara/Mana edition)

SRQ Innovation Green

moves slowly forward

While the city of Sarasota debates the location of a proposed conference center, The Folsom Group, a Sarasota-based architectural firm, is pushing its SRQ Innovation Green project through the development of regional impact review process(DRI).

"We were thinking we would have the DRI last spring," says Michelle Harvey, vice president of development at Folsom. "It's pretty involved, mainly because we are in two regional planning councils. We are assuming we will have the DRI by the summer. Then we will file a site pan with (Sarasota). There could by some overlap, but our project is pretty dependent on the DRI."

Once the project is in the site planning stage, Harvey says the review should last about four months while a traffic study is completed. Groundbreaking will be later this year or early next year.

The development, located on a parcel next to the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, is expected to feature 200,000 square feet of mixed-use space, an 150-seat restaurant and a 200-room hotel. The site also is being considered for the city of Sarasota's proposed conference center. A consultant is expected to report back to the city commission later this month with a study outlining the possible conference center sites.

The initial segment of phase 1 of the project calls for construction of four 5,000-square-foot buildings. Three will be designated for office space, The Folsom Group will occupy from 2,500 square feet to 5,000 square feet in one building, and the fourth will house a restaurant.

"Right now (the hotel) is not something we are working on," Harvey says. "We know it will be upscale...but we are open to discussing the possibilities."

Klingbeil Multifamily pays $12.7 million for Bay West Apartments

Columbus, Ohio-based Klingbeil Multifamily Fund IV LLC, an investment fund administered by Klingbeil Capital Management, purchased the Bay West Apartments at 6904 Manatee Ave. W. in Bradenton from West Dale National Associates LP for $12.7 million. The complex consists of 299 units in 79 buildings with a leasing office/clubhouse situated on an about 17-acre site.

James Callard, president and chief operating officer of KCM, says Bay West was an ideal acquisition because of the above average unit sizes (904 square feet), its townhouse floor plans and its desirable location. The company plans to reposition the center and "to breathe new life into this under performing asset." KCM plans to invest more than $1.7 million in renovations to the property, which will also likely be renamed.

KCM is a nearly 50-year-old privately-owned real estate investment and asset management company. The new owner mortgaged the complex to RED Mortgage Capital Inc. for $9.4 million.

Schroeder-Manatee Ranch

fills final hole

A hefty portion of the only large independently-owned parcel in Lakewood Ranch, located between State Road 70 and University Parkway, has been sold to Schroeder-Manatee Ranch Inc. Pat Neal, who purchased the 325-acre parcel from Ron Taylor and Robert Menke, president and chairman of Banker's Financial Services, in April of 2002 for about $8 million, recently sold about 80 acres to SMR for $1.96 million.

To accommodate the transfer and Neal's own residential development, SMR sold some of its nearby land to Neal for $1.3 million.

According to Tom Danahy, executive vice president and chief operating officer of SMR, the property has been earmarked for development as the fourth nine-hole golf course at Lakewood Ranch Country Club.

The deal had been in the works almost from the day that Neal closed on the parcel in 2002, Danahy says, adding, "There has been a coordinated effort between the principals of both companies ... to ensure that there is a nice mix of product and a premier golf course. Neal will still own the land for the houses that will surround the golf course." The fourth course should open early next year, while the third course at Lakewood will open next month.

Wesco Turf principals

buy former Sears building

The owners of Wesco Turf Inc. bought the 33,000-square-foot former Sears building at 2065 Cantu Court, Sarasota, from Douglas and Linda Cardente for $3.3 million. The vacant building is adjacent to the Wesco Turf's existing building at 2101 Cantu Court. A company official says the property was purchased as an investment, and will be used by the company for expansion. Wesco Turf provides turf equipment and irrigation products to clients in Florida and south Georgia.

The owners of Wesco Turf, who used the company name of Gamble Partners LLC for the purchase, mortgaged the property to Wachovia Bank and William Gamble III for $3.35 million.

High-end builders

plan Burns Court Villas

Terry Conti, Mark Miller and Gil Alvarez, using the development name of Burns Court Development LLC, purchased about an acre of land between Oak Street and Palm Avenue from Richard and Susan Morris for $3.1 million. "The property was approved for an 180 to 190 foot, 11-story, high-rise," says Conti. "But we decided to go with a villa concept instead. We are going to build 23 townhomes with a central courtyard. It is much more in the style of Burns Court than the high-rise would have been. We are going to sell it as 'The alternative to the high rise.' " The project is being called Burns Court Villas.

Conti and Miller are the principals of Waterside Investment Group in Sarasota, which builds ultra high-end waterfront homes in the $3 million to $16 million sales range. "We are going to bring our expertise in building and materials," Conti says, "along with our ability to buy materials in volume." He says the townhomes, which will run about 2,200 square feet, will feature garages, imported stone floors, cooper sinks and granite countertops. Miller's West Water Construction Co. Inc. is the general contractor.

The partners estimate the price per townhome at $850,000 to $1 million. The new owners mortgaged the property to People's Community Bank of the West Coast for $2.7 million.

Local partners buy three Venice retail/warehouse buildings

Three partners - Chad Gates of the Sarasota law firm of Levin, Tannenbaum, Wolff, Band, Gates & Pugh, Carl Heinsman, a former PGT Industries official, and Jim Driggers, a financial adviser - bought three buildings at 901 U.S. Bypass S., Venice, from Kalin Associates LLP for $2.15 million.

The partners, who are golfing buddies, paid $57 a square foot for the three vacant buildings, including a 16,800-square-foot retail facility with U.S. 41 frontage, a 15,000-square-foot retail/warehouse building and a 5,000-square-foot storage building.

"You can't touch anywhere in Sarasota for that," Gates say. "(But) you can get a similar rental rate. Venice is a bargain for rental property."

"We are in negotiations right now for a chain automotive group to take the middle portion," Gates says. The partners mortgaged the space to the former owner for about $2 million.

Clarke Advertising buys

land for future expansion

Sarasota-based Clarke Advertising & Public Relations Inc. purchased four buildings contiguous to the marketing firm from David and Joan Condon for $950,000. "We won't be doing anything right away," says Tim Clarke, chairman of Clarke Advertising. "We are just planning to hold it for a future expansion." Clarke mortgaged the property to the former owners for $782,093.

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