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Real Estate Briefs (Sara/Mana edition)

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  • | 6:00 p.m. February 4, 2005
  • Commercial Real Estate
  • Manatee–Sarasota
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Real Estate Briefs (Sara/Mana edition)

Siesta Key resort owners

buy office building

Richard and Mary Dear, who own the Tropical Breeze Resort & Spa at 5150 Ocean Blvd., Siesta Key, purchased a three-story office building at 5011 Ocean Blvd. from Langedyk Enterprises Inc. $2.35 million.

Richard Dear says the building, only a block from his resort, is "a beautiful building in a great location."

"It's one of only two office complexes in Siesta Village," he says. "It just made sense to buy it and keep it."

Other properties in Siesta Village allow both retail and office uses, but Dear says properties used only as offices tend to have more stable long-term tenants.

"The capitalization rate is not nearly as high, but (the retail/office) properties tend to have shorter-term tenants," Dear says, of the building that was recently renovated.

The building is currently fully leased to Dana Capital, Pelican Press, Construction Estimating Institute and Total Physical Therapy.

The Dears, who used the corporate name of RM Dear Real Estate LLC for the transaction, mortgaged the property to The Bank of Commerce for $1.7 million.

Sarasota developers

buy Selby research center

Developers, entrepreneurs and part-time Sarasota residents Karen and John Melk purchased the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens research center at 711 Palm Ave. S., Sarasota, from Selby Gardens for $1.5 million.

"We are not exactly sure what we are going to do there yet," says Karen Melk. "The research center has agreed to lease the space for the next 30 days. It's just a great location. It would be logical for us to either do low rises or townhomes there. But I can guarantee it is going to be something really nice because it's what I have to see when I look out our kitchen."

The Melks are the developers behind the $170-million Fisher Island, which the couple sold in December. They also own the luxurious private island, Musha Key, in the Bahamas.

John Melk was one of the original partners in Blockbuster Video, which sold to Viacom three years ago.

He is now a partner in Auto Nation, the largest new and used car dealership in the world with close to $20 billion in annual revenues.

"We could live just about anywhere in the world, but my husband and I just fell in love with Sarasota," Karen Melk says.

Lee Wetherington Cos.

increases sales by 32%

The Lee Wetherington Cos. has completed another record year, ending 2004 with the sale of 392 homes for a volume of $170 million. The 2004 figures represent a 32% increase in sales over the 298 homes sold in 2003 and a 52% increase in dollar volume. The company pulled a total of 407 permits in the two-county area.

The numbers indicate the companies' continuing upward trend, which increased sharply after a restructuring in mid-2000.

In 1999, Lee Wetherington Homes set a new record with a volume of $33.5 million, increasing sales to $36.4 million in 2000 as the new organizational structure was implemented. In 2001, volume rose by 88% to $62 million on the sale of 190 homes; it further increased in 2002 to $71.3 million on the sale of 206 homes.

In 2004, Builder magazine and the National Association of Home Builders honored the firm as "America's Best Builder."

In Manatee County, Lee Wetherington builds homes in River Wilderness, Riviera Dunes, on Haben Boulevard in Palmetto and several neighborhoods in Lakewood Ranch. In Sarasota County, the builder offers its homes in Boca Royale Golf & Country Club, Tuscana, The Founders Club and Willowbend.

Real estate investors buy

450 acres on Lake Manatee

Lakeshore Knolls LLC bought 450 acres of orchard grove land on County Road 675 from Sorrells of Manatee Inc., J&S Carter Inc. and Ira Webb for $15.5 million. Lakeshore Knolls is principally Elizabeth and John Kagan of Fort Myers and George Winslow of Punta Gorda. The Kagans developed the 51-estate home Devonwood Estates in Fort Myers. Winslow, the broker behind the deal, owns and operates Gulf Citrus Properties.

"I have known this property for the last 15 years when it was part of Rutland Ranch," Winslow says. "I sold it in the late '80s and early '90s. Interest rates are attractive now, when you look at the appreciating land values in Manatee County and the fact that it was on the water, we thought it merited special attention. Citrus land is a great way of holding the property value."

The new buyers have no immediate plans to develop the property. Lakeshore Knolls paid $37,500 per acre.

"It is just beautiful land right on Lake Manatee," Elizabeth Kagan says.

Sarasota developer plans

Clark Road office complex

Barry Edwards, of Barry D. Edwards & Associates, bought vacant land at 5650 Honore Ave., Sarasota, from Sararealty Three for $1.2 million.

Linda Emery, a spokesperson for Edwards, says the company plans to market as much as 50,000 square feet of office condominium space in about five buildings, in a development called Clark Station. Three buildings will be 5,000 square feet, a fourth will be 20,000 square feet and the final property is slated for 15,000 square feet. Emery says units in the development will start at 1,750 square feet. Leases are expected to go for $17.85 triple net.

The architect for Clark Station is BMK Architects and the general contractor is Square One Contracting. "This is going to have the same Key West look as Rosenway Healthcare Spa," Emery says.


• Comfort Enclosures Roofing & Contracting Inc. purchased a 9,100-square-foot office/warehouse building at 203-205 Base Ave., Venice, from Casey Key Associates Ltd. for $575,000. Jeff Button, of Richardson Kleiber Walter, Kleiber Partnership, represented the seller, and Mary Beth Wilson, of Preferred Properties of Venice, represented the buyer.

• David MacRae, as trustee, purchased a 2,322-square-foot office/warehouse condominium unit within the Sarasota Business Center at 752 Commerce Drive, Venice, from SCP Condominium LLC for $235,000. Courtney Milligan, of Sarasota Business Center, represented the seller, and Jeff Button, of Richardson Kleiber Walter, Kleiber Partnership, represented the buyer.

• Mark & Joan Holdings LLC bought an office/warehouse condominium unit at 2123 Porter Lake Drive, Sarasota, from Graphic Property Holdings LLC for $139,900. John Caragiulo, of Hembree & Associates, represented the seller, and Jeff Button, of Richardson Kleiber Walter, Kleiber Partnership, represented the buyer.

• Tru-Temp Heating & Cooling Inc. leased a 2,465-square-foot office/warehouse unit at 4366 Independence Court. Jennifer and Jeff Button, of Richardson Kleiber Walter, Kleiber Partnership, handled the transaction.

• The Sarasota general contracting firm of Kellogg & Kimsey Inc. recently completed construction on two local projects. The firm completed the demolition, renovation and addition of an existing retail center to 43,000 square feet of new retail space in Paradise Plaza, at U.S. 41 and Bee Ridge Road.

In addition, Kellogg & Kimsey Inc. also recently finished work on Yankee Traveler on St. Armand's Circle for Casto Southeast. Kellogg & Kimsey remodeled the existing space to create 25,000 square feet of new retail space.

• Adam Wieand, of Venture Rentals Ltd. and Bayshore Rental Apartments, bought property at 2519 Ninth Ave. W. from Five Star 2 Manatee Inc. for $475,000. Wieand, who used the corporate name of Odyssey Properties Manatee LLC for the transaction, mortgaged the property to Coast Bank of Florida for $380,000.

• Ritchie Enterprises Inc. bought several pieces of vacant industrial land in the 1900 and 2000 block of 60th Place E. from Steve Solomon Inc. for a total of $835,000.

• Lennar Communities and U.S. Home announced that the first three homes put on the market at Talon Bay in North Port sold in one day. Construction has begun on two models at Tallon Bay and land development is scheduled for completion in six months, according to Squitieri. Home prices in Tallon Bay will range from the $250,000s to the $350,000s.

The 220-home, gated community's planned entrance is located just west of Mineral Springs off U.S. 41 in North Port. The western-portion of Tallon Bay will abut the Myakka River. Architect Don Evans, of the Evans Group, in Orlando, created U.S. Home's designs.

• Dan Abbott leased 1,000 square feet at 100 Wallace Ave., Sarasota, from H&M Holdings LLC for one year. Steve Horn, of Ian Black Real Estate, handled this transaction.

• Fifth Third Bank, Florida has opened its new Bradenton 53rd Ave. banking center, located at 5305 26th St. W. The Bradenton banking center is the second location to open since the completion of Fifth Third's merger with First National Bankshares of Florida Inc. in January. The first, located in downtown Naples, opened on Jan. 3. Cincinnati, Ohio-based Fifth Third Bancorp has $94.5 billion in assets, operates 17 affiliates with 1,088 full-service Banking Centers, including 129 Bank Mart locations inside select grocery stores and 1,979 Jeanie ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

• Last year was a good one for Sarasota's Prudential Palms Realty. President Scott Sosso says the company grew by four-and-a-half times and had the second highest average sales in the marketplace.

"We should be opening couple more this year - maybe one or two," he says. "We are also looking at a couple acquisitions and title and mortgage services. Most customers want us to be a one-stop shop."

• The investment group Paradise Autos LLC bought the former BMW auto dealership location at 6000 Tamiami Trail S., Sarasota, from Rodney Dessberg for $2.55 million. According to Doug Tibbetts, managing partner for Paradise Autos, the dealership location has already been leased to another dealer for luxury cars. Southpointe BMW is now located at 5151 Clark Road, Sarasota. Paradise Autos mortgaged the Tamiami property to Orion Bank for $2.04 million.

Barry Seidel, president of American Property Group of Sarasota Inc., handled the transaction.

• Edmund Mogford Jr.'s Heritage Shower Doors Inc. bought two buildings at 430 Venice Ave. E., Venice, from Thomas Conner, as trustee, for $900,000. Each of the two buildings is about 2,000 square feet.

"This was really an investment for our future expansion," says Mogford, whose Heritage Shower Doors is located nearby at 504 E. Venice Ave. "We like being east of Venice." Heritage Shower Doors mortgaged the property to the former owner for $900,000.

• Universal Healthcare leased a new office in Palm Aire Plaza. Steve Ross of Hembree & Associates has represented Universal Healthcare.

• Steve Ross, of Hembree & Associates, represented Thai Accounting and NV Beginnings at Clark Condominium LLP in the purchase of new offices at 4141 Clark Plaza.

In another transaction, Harry Robbins Real Estate represented Michigan Construction Industry in the purchase of space at 4141 Clark Plaza.

Ross represents Clark Management as listing agent and has sold out all but three units within a nine-month period. The spaces in the project range from 1,300 square feet to 3,900 square feet.

• Bradenton-based Bruce Williams Homes, Manatee County's most active locally based home builder, will start construction in February of the last two townhomes and villa buildings in the first phase at Lexington located in Parrish, off U.S. 301 and east of Chin Road in Manatee.

Altogether, there will be a total of 96 town homes and villas in Lexington.

• Robert Harris Homes has announced plans to develop the 114-unit condominium Palm Lakes in Sarasota. The gated development will offer maintenance-free units starting the low $200s. All homes will feature two and three bedroom ranch floor plans.


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