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Business Observer Friday, Dec. 2, 2016 4 years ago

Times are changing at firm

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Prominent New Jersey commercial real estate executive Steven Denholtz has done plenty of real estate deals on Florida's east coast, but for him the Tampa-St. Petersburg market is the way to go.

Prominent New Jersey commercial real estate executive Steven Denholtz has done plenty of real estate deals on Florida's east coast, but for him the Tampa-St. Petersburg market is the way to go.

The company, with a niche in adaptive reuse projects, owns buildings, one in Tampa and one in St. Petersburg, that house the Tampa Bay Times, among other tenants. It sold some land surrounding the Tampa property last month, and has invested tens of millions of dollars into upgrades at both properties.

“We are in a great spot right now here,” says Denholtz, CEO of Matawan, N.J.-based Denholtz Associates. “The two mayors for each of these cities have real strong visions for what they want to see and we want to be in cities that have really thought about their future.”

Denholtz Associates, in a joint venture with Tampa-based Convergence Capital, paid $19 million for the Tampa Bay Times' flagship St. Petersburg building in April. The 250,000-square-foot complex, three buildings built between 1924 and 1988, is undergoing at least $10 million in renovations, says Denholtz. The work includes new elevators, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment, a new lobby, conference center and cafe.

“We need to bring it up to a 2016 look,” Denholtz tells Coffee Talk. “We aren't passive investors. We take an aggressive approach.”

The Times, one of the largest daily newspapers in Florida by circulation, occupies about 110,000 square feet in the building. Cushman & Wakefield, hired to handle leasing, is looking for tenants for the other spaces, from law firms and tech companies to possibly a national company expanding to the region.

In Tampa, Denholtz Associates owns the Times Building, a 10-story, 179,000-square-foot tower on 1000 N. Ashley Drive, near the Tampa Riverwalk. The company recently sold 5.1 acres at 109 W. Fortune St., next to the Times Building, to developer Crescent Communities. Crescent plans to build a five-story apartment building on the site.

Denholtz says even though his company does some residential work, this deal will pump up the value of the office building, given the current housing crunch in downtown Tampa.

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