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Tampa Bay Area
Business Observer Friday, Apr. 8, 2005 13 years ago

Real Estate Briefs (Tampa)

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Dubai Investment Group acquires multifamily propertiesThe Sembler Co. buys St. Petersburg propertiesWilder Corp. buys Ameri-Life Towers in ClearwaterResponse Mail Express obtains$2.5 million mortgage La Risa Development LLC buys property for condosMarket Street MortgageCEO named to UM boardFreemarr Homes buys 23 lots to build single-family homesElliott Ross sets record year for salesFleischmanGarcia wins architectural awardPalm Harbor Development LLC obtains $29.46 million mortgagHotel Detroit and Bishop Hotel to undergo improvements
by: Adam Hughes Staff Writer

Real Estate Briefs (Tampa)

Dubai Investment Group

acquires multifamily properties

Dubai Investment Group (DIG) in association with Dallas- and New York-based The Milestone Group acquired a $1 billion multifamily portfolio, comprised of 21,000 apartments across the U.S., including three complexes in the Tampa Bay area.

DIG, an affiliate of Dubai Holding LLC, acquired the Oak Ramble Apartments, 14627 Grenandine Drive, and St. James Crossing Apartments, 5520 Gunn Highway, both in Tampa, and the Bel Shore Apartments, 600 Belcher Road S., Largo. The portfolio includes properties in other metropolitan markets of Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, Jacksonville, Atlanta, Nashville and Phoenix.

The three Tampa Bay area properties were acquired from Dallas-based Olympus Real Estate Partners, said Jeffrey Goldberg, a partner at The Milestone Group. Eurohypo AG, a German bank, provided $41.4 million for the Tampa apartments, according to Hillsborough and Pinellas property records.

"We did the groundwork, the heavy lifting you might say, in the purchase of the properties," Goldberg said. The Milestone Group's earlier dealings with Olympus in the acquisition of Three Palms of Carrollwood, Tampa, convinced it of the potential of the new assets in this area, he added.

While the joint venture with DIG makes the partners co-owners of the acquired assets, The Milestone Group is in charge of the day-to-day management of the properties.

This is DIG's largest single investment in the U.S. and more purchases are expected, Goldberg said.

Major capital improvements to the Tampa properties will be carried out, enhancing both the interiors and the exteriors, without increasing the rates, he said.

Currently the occupancy rate of the apartments is in the mid-90s.

The Sembler Co. buys

St. Petersburg properties

The Sembler Co. bought three properties at the intersection of First Street North, Beach Drive Northeast and Second Avenue North in downtown St. Petersburg for $11.9 million. The combined area of the properties purchased from Colonial Bayfront Inc., J.B. Baldwin Family Trust and the Women's Tennis Benefit Association Inc. is 1.1 acres.

A mixed-use development, which would include houses, retail and commercial centers, is planned, said Sembler spokeswoman Amber Overby. Details are not yet finalized.

Melvin Sembler, Brent Sembler, Craig Sher and Gregory Sembler are the partners of The Sembler Co.

Wilder Corp. buys Ameri-Life

Towers in Clearwater

Maurice Wilder, sole member and owner of Wilder Corp. of Delaware, is the new owner of Ameri-Life Towers at 2536 Countryside Blvd., Clearwater. The Wilder Corp. bought the 95,000-square-foot building for $6.7 million, or $70.53 per square foot. The seller was RFR Amerilife Ltd.

Wilder said he doesn't plan any major improvements to the complex, which has a vacancy rate of 12%.

Wilder owns 12 office buildings of various sizes in the Tampa Bay area, all of which, he said, have an occupancy rate between 85% to 95%. In the past two years, occupancy has improved by about 5%, he added.

Response Mail Express obtains

$2.5 million mortgage

Response Mail Express, the Tampa unit of Daytona Beach-based Direct Mail Express, has borrowed $2.5 million from Merrill Lynch Business Financial Services Inc. Direct Mail bought 7 acres and an existing 75,000-square-foot building at 4910 Savarese Circle, Tampa, for as much as $8 million, said Michael Panaggio, CEO of Direct Mail.

DME paid cash for the property. The Merrill Lynch mortgage will be used to refurbish the building and add marketing facilities, Panaggio said. Reponse Mail's 200 employees will work out of the building.

There will be a light manufacturing facility to primarily develop laser materials for direct marketing.

Tom Panaggio and Jorge Villar are the principals and managing officers of RME.

La Risa Development LLC

buys property for condos

La Risa Development LLC, a subsidiary of Radcliff Development Co. LLC, bought an 8-unit motel/residential property at 669 Bay Esplanade, Clearwater, for $2.25 million. The seller was Virginia B. Franks, trustee of the Virginia B. Franks Trust.

The Franks parcel is one of six contiguous parcels that are being put together to develop an exclusive 32-unit waterfront condominium project, said Robert L. Flynt, president of the parent Radcliff Development Co. There will be 10 different floor plans for the units, with prices ranging from $780,000 to $1.22 million.

The demolition of the existing properties will begin shortly and the units should be ready within 18 months, Flynt said. About 60% of the units have been pre-sold.

The cost of the La Risa condo project is about $30 million.

Market Street Mortgage

CEO named to UM board

Randy Johnson, CEO of Clearwater-based Market Street Mortgage, one of the nation's largest retail mortgage originators, has been elected to the University of Miami Board of Trustees.

Under Johnson's direction, Market Street Mortgage closed $2.5 billion of mortgage loans in 2004. A past president of the Mortgage Banker's Association of Florida, Johnson graduated from the University of Miami in 1971.

Freemarr Homes buys 23 lots

to build single-family homes

Freemarr Homes, Inc. bought 23 lots on North Parsons Avenue, Brandon, for $1.21 million to build single-family homes, with prices ranging between $203,900 and $270,000. LawDevCo. Inc. was the seller.

Construction of new homes on the heavily tree-lined property is expected to begin within the next two months, said Mike Marra, one of the partners. Eleven homes have already been pre-sold.

Elliott Ross sets

record year for sales

For Elliot Ross, president of The Ross Realty Group, 2004 was a year to be truly proud of. His sales volume in excess of $50 million was a personal milestone, according to a news release.

In December, Ross closed two major deals: Bay Rista Retail, a 17,828-square-foot strip center at 5501 Roosevelt Blvd., Clearwater, for $1,955,000, and the former Pinellas Expo Center for $6,250,000.

In other news, Ross was elected president of the University of Wisconsin Alumni Club of Tampa Bay.

FleischmanGarcia wins

architectural award

FleischmanGarcia-designed Shore Acres Elementary School received first place for Outstanding Achievement in the Elementary/Middle School category of the Florida Educational Facilities Planners' Association Inc. Architectural Showcase for the Pinellas School District.

The 75,000-square-foot new construction in St. Petersburg included classrooms, a cafetorium, multipurpose room, music, art and physical education facilities, and administrative offices. The project also included 11,300 square feet of renovations to the existing media center and exceptional student education classrooms, as well as site work on new athletic fields, playgrounds and parking.

In other news, the company was recently awarded a contract for Dunedin Elementary School. Also, a new Mediterranean style two-story clubhouse, designed by FleischmanGarcia, will replace the existing facility at Treasure Island Yacht Club.

BayCare HomeCare will relocate to a new 80,000-square-foot facility, designed by FleischmanGarcia, on 118th Avenue, Largo, from its current location on Starkey Road. The new facility will house office space and a warehouse for Morton Plant Mease Healthcare's HomeCare Division.

Palm Harbor Development LLC

obtains $29.46 million mortgage

Palm Harbor Development LLC, a subsidiary of the Miami-based Crescent Heights, obtained a refinancing mortgage package of $29.46 million from Aareal Bank AG. The mortgage was obtained against condominiums at Tuscany at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor.

Shay Mayron, president of Palm Harbor Development LLC, declined to disclose details.

Hotel Detroit and Bishop Hotel

to undergo improvements

Hotel Detroit, the prominent retail-condo tower on Central Avenue in downtown St. Petersburg, and the Bishop Hotel on First Avenue North will undergo some capital improvements, according to the Jack Bodziak, owner of St. Pete Jannus Inc. and Jannus Bishop Group Inc.

The $2.5 million mortgage from Bank of America NA refinanced the existing properties, Bodziak added.

Etc.

• Lura D. Neal, individually and as trustee of The Ziedins Family Trust, mortgaged a single-family residence at 1265 Snell Isle Blvd., St. Petersburg, to Signature Bank for $6 million.

• Hialeah's Miguel Soto of MGCJ Renmah Holdings Group LLC bought multifamily residential units at 2115 and 2120 Dekle Ave., Tampa, for $2.47 million. The seller was Ralph F. Horst, trustee of the Ralph F. Horst Revocable Trust.

• Dallas-based Staubach Capital Partners entered into a long-term lease with CVS LLC, whereby CVS continues to own and operate its store at St. Petersburg's First Street North. SCP paid CVS $1.59 million and obtained a mortgage of $1.9 million from Wells Fargo Bank Northwest NA.

• Richard A. Bridge, owner of Bridge Properties LLC, bought a strip center at 4311 W. Waters Ave., Tampa, for $1.8 million. The seller was Kimmins Partnership Ltd.

• Reid S. Pratt sold a mobile home park at 8510 Gibsonton Drive, in unincorporated Hillsborough, to Thomas Pera of Martini Island Land Co. for $995,000.

• Sales reached the halfway point for Hannah-Bartoletta Homes in Wellington Manor in northern Hillsborough, with 18 of 40 homes sold. The homes are priced from the $570,000s to more than $1 million.

• Randy Buddemeyer, CB Richard Ellis' managing director of asset services for Florida, was honored as the Market Leader of the Year at the company's Asset Services National Recognition Awards Dinner in Denver.

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