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Top 20 Projects

The following includes the 20 largest construction projects in the two-county region. 

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  • | 6:00 p.m. May 23, 2003
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Top 20 Projects

The following includes the 20 largest construction projects in the two-county region. To qualify for the list, projects were required to have started construction between June 2002 to May 14, 2003. Both commercial and multifamily projects were included. The ranking is based on an assessment by The Construction Guide and independent research. Companies that did not return calls or declined were omitted.

1. Manatee Power Plant

Site: SR-62 in Parrish

Estimated construction value: $560 million

Start date: May

Estimated completion: Summer 2005

General contractor: Zachary Construction Corp., San Antonio, and Black and Veatch, Kansas City.

Owner: Florida Power & Light Co., Juno Beach

Details: After a year and a half of permitting and governmental review, FPL is starting construction of a third natural-gas combined cycle generating unit for the existing Manatee County power plant. The third power plant will be built adjacent to the two existing plants on a 9,500-acre site in Parrish. The combined-cycle unit will produce about 1,100 megawatts of energy capable of serving about 235,000 homes or offices. According to FPL, the Parrish unit is expected to be one of the cleanest and most cost-effective new generating units in the nation.

2. The Glenridge on Palmer Ranch

Site: 7333 Scotland Way

Estimated construction value: $80 million

Start date: June 2002

Estimated completion: April 2004

General contractor: Weitz Co., Des Moines

Owner: The Glenridge

Details: The Glenridge is a large-scale country club-style retirement community offering about 800,000 square feet of living space. The Glenridge is located on a 92-acre campus just north of Central Sarasota Parkway on Potter Park Drive in Palmer Ranch and will most likely employ 225 to 235 full- and part-time employees to serve its 500 members. The community is slated to have 306 living units, of which 50 will be single-family club homes. The development will feature individual club homes by John Cannon Homes, low-rise apartment homes, a 65,000-square-foot club commons area, multiple dining venues, a performing arts center and a fitness center and spa. Construction has started on the residences and most of infrastructure has already been put in place.

3. Lakewood Ranch Town Center Medical Center

Site: 8330 Lakewood Ranch Blvd.

Estimated construction value: $40 million

Start date: November 1, 2002

Estimated completion: March 2004

General contractor: McCarthy Construction, St. Louis

Owner: Universal Health Services, King of Prussia, Pa.

Details: The owner of Manatee Memorial Hospital, Universal Health Services, is building an 180,000-square-foot, three-story hospital in Lakewood Ranch. The 120-bed hospital will have a Women's Center, an emergency department, a 22-bed critical care department, five operating rooms, medical surgical centers and two endoscopy rooms. "It's going great," Jean Adams CEO for the new hospital. "We just had a tree-topping ceremony. There is a lot of enthusiasm."

4. Sarasota County's Bee Ridge Water Reclamation Facility

Site: 4001 Iona Road

Estimated construction value: $30 million

Start date: September 2002

Estimated completion: March 2005

General contractor: Poole and Kent Co., Miami

Owner: Sarasota County

Details: Sarasota County decided to expand its existing Bee Ridge water reclamation facility to replace three smaller reclamation plants. "It will be substantially less expensive to process waste water treatment for re-use," says Glenn Richter, project manager with Sarasota County Utilities. The plant is being expanded from a capacity of 2.1 million gallons of wastewater per day to 8.7 million gallons. Work on the facility is approaching 35% complete. The expanded facility will include two waste sludge-holding tanks. Once the new facility is in operation, the reclaimed water will be redirected from the smaller plants to the Bee Ridge facility.

5. Vista Bay Point

Site: 134 Golden Gate Point

Estimated construction value: $21 million

Start date: November 2002

Estimated completion: December 2003

General contractor: Tauer Construction, Atlanta

Owner: Jebco Ventures Inc., Atlanta

Details: Jebco Ventures of Atlanta is building a 10-floor condominium project with a total of 16 units. The condo units will range in price from $870,000 to $3 million. "We are very well ahead of schedule," says Jim Bridges, president of Jebco Ventures. "We are hoping to deliver a December move-in. We are not quite sold out, but we are more than 50% sold."

6. Sarasota Memorial

Hospital Parking Garage

Site: 1850 Tamiami Trail S.

Estimated construction value: $13

Start date: November 2002

Estimated completion: December

General contractor: W.G. Mills Inc.

Owner: Sarasota Memorial Healthcare System

Details: The hospital is building a seven-story, 1,048-space parking garage on the southern end of the 24-acre campus. "It was desperately needed," says Mike Vizvary, spokesman for the hospital. The facade of the garage will appear similar to Sarasota Memorial's Critical Care Center, which fronts on South Tamiami Trail (U.S. 41). A half-acre, landscaped park area will provide a visual buffer along Hillview Street, and the hospital also will build a landscaped roundabout. Once the garage is completed, the Sarasota Police Department will relocate one of its substations at Hillview and Laurent to the first floor of the new garage.

7. Seagrove at Siesta Key

Site: 6400 Midnight Pass Road, Siesta Key

Estimated construction value: $11 million

Start date: January

Estimated completion: April 2004

General contractor: Boran, Craig, Barber, Engel Construction Company Inc., Sarasota

Owner: Bella Vista Group Inc., Tampa

Details: The Seagrove project is the first new construction project on Crescent Beach in Siesta Key in more than 20 years. The Bella Vista Group started the development of the project with the four-story (over parking) Beach House condominium building, which will have eight condominiums. In the second phase, scheduled to begin in the next few months, the Tampa company will build four town homes. One of the town homes in the second phase, part of what is being called the Courtyard Homes, will be three stories, while the remainder will be two stories. Holly Mostoller, project coordinator for Bella Vista Group Inc., says prices for the units will range from $1.6 million to $3.4 million. "We are very well ahead of schedule," Mostoller says. The Evans Group of Orlando was the architect for the development.

8. Beall's Distribution Center

Site: 2100 47th Terrace E., Bradenton

Estimated construction value: $8.2 million

Start date: January

Estimated completion: August

General contractor: Mike Carter Construction Inc., Bradenton

Owner: Beall's Inc., Bradenton

Details: Retail giant Beall's Inc. is building a 175,000-square-foot distribution facility next to its existing 270,000-square-foot facility in Manasota Industrial Park. The goal, according to Bill Simpson, vice president of distribution and transportation for Beall's, is to have all the distribution for the company's outlet centers going through the two facilities on 47th Terrace E. All of the company's department store transportation and storage would be handled out of a facility at 1806 38th Ave. E. Once the new distribution building is completed, renovation will start on the 38th Avenue center. Separate from the cost of construction, the retailer is repairing or replacing equipment in all three facilities at an additional cost of $8 million.

9. Re/Max Properties Inc.

Site: 2000 Webber St.

Estimated construction value: $7 million

Start date: January

Estimated completion: August

General contractor: Willis A. Smith Construction Inc., Sarasota

Owner: The Crowley Group

Details: The top Re/Max franchise in Florida is about to get one of the largest Re/Max buildings nationwide. Owners Tim and Judy Crowley say that Re/Max Properties, which has about 160 agents at that location, has designed the new building to house 200 agents in-house and another 100 agents remotely. The three-story, 28,000-square-foot addition is being built east of the existing building. Re/Max Properties plans to debut title service when the new building is completed. The existing building will be demolished to serve as additional parking, when the new facility is completed.

10. Tropicana Products

Storage Facility

Site: 1001 13th Ave. E.

Estimated construction value: $7 million (based on permit)

Start date: November 2002

Estimated completion: June

General contractor: Enerfab Construction, Cincinnati

Owner: Tropicana Products, Bradenton

Details: Tropicana is in the midst of installing additional juice tanks for aseptic cold storage within its current processing plant. In the second phase, Tropicana will construct a 28,800-square-foot, 80-foot-tall building to enclose the storage tanks. The company just received approval for phase two of the development, which entails 14 1.5-million gallon tanks in multiple buildings.

11. Open-Heart Surgery Center

Site: 540 The Rialto

Estimated construction value: $6 million

Start date: September 2002

Estimated completion: July

General contractor: Batson-Cook, West Point, Ga.

Owner: Bon Secours Hospital Board

Details: Last year Bon Secours Hospital received approval from state regulators to offer more invasive cardiac services. In response, hospital officials decided to create an open-heart surgery center by renovating existing areas of the hospital. The hospital is renovating two operating rooms, building two new cardiac catheterization labs, adding a new special procedures room and remodeling existing areas of the hospital for pre- and post-operative patient care. In addition, the hospital is adapting a critical care area to serve as a cardiovascular recovery unit.

12. The Waterfront

on Venice Island

Site: 147 E. Tampa Ave., Venice

Estimated construction value: $5.3 million (permit)

Start date: May

Estimated completion: December

General contractor: N/A

Owner: Waterford Companies (Mike Miller)

Details: Work is moving forward on a planned condominium/hotel/retail project on the site of the former Oyster Crackers restaurant. The first phase of the development is construction of three nine-story 32-unit high-rise condominiums; while the second phase entails building a three-story condo-hotel with retail space. Recently, the company took the first steps in developing the property by demolishing the vacant restaurant and clearing the property. At least 11 of the first set of condominium units have been pre-sold. Condo prices are set to run from $425,000 to $1 million.

13. Republic Bank/

CVS Drug Stores

Site: 5312 Cortez Road (CVS); 4302 W. Cortez Road (Republic Bank)

Estimated construction value: $3.9 million

Start date: November 2002

Estimated completion: April (bank), September (CVS)

General contractor: Halfacre Construction Co.

Owner: Belleair Development Group Inc., Largo

Details: Belleair Development Group wanted a good location in Bradenton for client CVS Drug Stores. It determined that St. Petersburg-based Republic Bank already occupied one of the most attractive sites at 4302 Cortez Road. Belleair Development bought the Dragon Garden Chinese Restaurant at 5312 Cortez Road and demolished it to build a new 3,200-square-foot Republic Bank building with three drive-through windows. The new bank building was completed in April. Belleair Development then demolished the former Republic Bank location to construct a 12,150-square-foot CVS drug store. Now both companies will be leasing their buildings from the Largo-based company.

14. Twin Lakes Green

Sarasota County Community Services Administration

Site: 6700 Clark Road

Estimated construction value: $3.6 million (budgeted)

Start date: September 2002

Estimated completion: Early 2004

General contractor: LAM Management Inc., Venice

Owner: Sarasota County

Details: Confronted with having to relocate the Cooperative Extension Service from the county fairgrounds, county officials decided to build a 6,665-square-foot green building and renovate an existing 17,358-square-foot community services building next door. The new facility will offer administrative office space and a 120-seat meeting auditorium surrounded by green-technology. The new building will have autoclaved aerated concrete walls, a cistern for collecting rain water to run the toilets, waterless urinals, water-conserving landscape and a geothermal cooling system that will circulate water underground. Renovations to the existing facility will include adding central air-conditioning, raising hallways and some green retrofitting, such as using tinted glass to block the sunlight.

15. Publix at Northridge

Site: 5100 Clark Road

Estimated construction value: $3.5 million

Start date: April 2003

Estimated completion: Late fall 2003

General contractor: Brice Construction

Owner: SR Development Inc., Safety Harbour

Details: Publix Super Markets is building a 49,065-square-foot Publix grocery store and nine retail spaces in the 5000 block of Clark Road. Richard Laccabue, manager of development operations for SR Development, says the center will also offer outparcel spaces, but he was unsure of the exact number and their sale/construction schedule. Publix is a partial owner in the overall development. The retail spaces are being leased out by Tampa-based RMC Property Group.

16. Suncoast Porsche,

Audi and Volkswagen

Site: 5005 S. Tamiami Trail

Estimated construction value: $3.5 million

Start date: September 2002

Estimated completion: September

General contractor: Suncoast Autobuilders Inc., St. Petersburg

Owner: Geyer-Dickinson

Details: Auto moguls Robert Geyer and Patrick Dickinson, owners of the Suncoast dealerships, had a problem. Their existing dealership was land locked on a small one-acre parcel, which was limiting the number of cars they could store or display. Their answer was to buy a 7.5-acre parcel on Tamiami Trail and build three new dealerships on the site and an automobile service center. "The manufacturers predicate the design," says Vance Dickinson, part-owner in the dealership. "It is a great location. It's one of the best locations in Sarasota. There is plenty of ample parking." The new dealerships are slated to be 50,000 square feet with about 6 acres paved for storage and display. "We are expecting to start selling more than 300 units per month out of there," Dickinson says. "We sell about 120 there now."

17. Old Bridge Village

Site: 300 Bay Drive S., Bradenton Beach

Estimated construction value: $3+ million

Start date: January

Estimated completion: September, January to April

General contractor: Whitehead Inc., Bradenton

Owner: Old Bridge Village LLP

Details: The investment partnership Old Bridge Village LLP is building three condominium buildings and one office building on Bay Drive between Third and Fourth Street on Bradenton Beach. According to David Teitelbaum, president of the partnership, the development will offer 11 residential condo units and an equal number of boat slips. The units will range in size from 2,000 to 2,500 square feet. Two of the condo buildings will hold four units each, while the third will house three town home units. The office building will provide two spaces, one of which Teitelbaum is expected to occupy himself.

18. Photo Tech Inc.

Site: 4440 Fruitville Road

Estimated construction value: $3

Start date: April

Estimated completion: Oct. 31, 2003

General contractor: McIntyre, Elwell and Strammer General Contractor, Sarasota

Owner: Photo-Tech Inc., Sarasota

Details: The corporate photography company is building a 25,960-square-foot building on a two-acre lot on Fruitville Road. "We are building it entirely for ourselves," says Peter Turo, president. "We will never see clients there (most of the company's work is with corporate clients in New York). I want to give the best work environment for my employees." The building will incorporate a single-piece of glass 200 feet long and 35 feet high along its facade, house the company server in a see-through room and offer a full-size kitchen. "Essentially, this is our home away from home," Turo says. The company currently plans to lease out about 5,000 square feet of space and has hired Hembree and Associates as its leasing agent.

19. VillageWalk Town Center

Site: 8109 Camminare Drive

Estimated construction value: $3 million

Start date: September 2002

Estimated completion: July

General contractor: DiVosta and Co. Inc., Palm Beach Gardens

Owner: DiVosta and Co. Inc.

Details: DiVosta and Co., parent company of DiVosta Homes, is building a self-contained retail community center in its gated VillageWalk residential development. According to Connor Chambers, project manager and vice president of DiVosta and Co., the company is constructing two large buildings (24,500 square feet) and a number of ancillary buildings in the heart of the residential community. The center will offer a deli with two gasoline pumps, two pools, six tennis courts, a beauty shop, bank, real estate office, fitness facility, meeting rooms, library and gazebo. The community center is designed to support the 1,180 single-family homes planned for the development, of which 450 homes have been built and closed.

20. Keating Marine

Education Center

Site: 1599 Ken Thompson Parkway

Estimated construction value: $2.2 million

Start date: February

Estimated completion: November

General contractor: Willis A. Smith Construction Inc., Sarasota

Owner: Mote Marine Laboratory

Details: Willis A. Smith Construction is building a 17,300-square-foot Keating Marine Education Center for Mote Marine Laboratory. The three-level facility features a covered parking area, video production, storage for marine and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary operations, classrooms with video conferencing and large conference rooms among its amenities. Arthur F. Mead, MCARB, of Sarasota, was the architect for the project.


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