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Real Estate Briefs (Sara/Mana edition)

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  • | 6:00 p.m. February 25, 2005
  • Commercial Real Estate
  • Charlotte–Lee–Collier
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Real Estate Briefs (Sara/Mana edition)

Candy Swick buys

Main Street office

Candy Swick, owner of the Sarasota-based real estate firm of Candy Swick & Co., purchased the 7,500-square-foot former Atlas Insurance office, at 2063 Main St., Sarasota, from Joseph Costello for $2 million.

"As a Realtor I believe in investing in the future of Sarasota," Swick says. "If I would advise my clients to do this, shouldn't I take my own advice?"

Swick previously leased space at 100 N. Washington Blvd., Sarasota, from architect George Palermo. Swick says her firm will likely occupy about 3,500 square feet in her new building and lease out the remainder.

"We are planning to remodel it," Swick says. "It has tremendous parking ... for about 25 spaces. From a location standpoint it would be perfect for an attorney, a businessman who needs to be in the downtown core or a mortgage company."

Swick handles primarily residential real estate and some commercial properties.

AmSouth Bank buys

Grand Pavilion land

AmSouth Bank bought land at 1301 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, from Grand Pavilion Shopping Center LLC for $1.75 million.

"We are planning it for a new branch," says Jerri Franz, spokesperson for AmSouth. "We are always surveying for new locations for branches. ... We try to buy land in advance and then work out the building plans. "

Franz says the new branch is not planned until 2006 or 2007.

Casto buys North

River Shopping Center

Columbus, Ohio-based Casto purchased the North River Shopping Center, in the 6100 block of U.S. 301 N., Ellenton, from Equity One Inc. for $14.9 million.

"The Casto organization is diversifying from Ohio to Florida," says Brett Hutchens, president of Casto Southeast, a subsidiary of Casto. "This was a 1031 exchange for properties that were sold in Pittsburgh. This is just the first of many deals like this. The company is looking statewide."

The 177,000-square-foot center is anchored by a Kmart and Publix Super Market. Other tenants in the 12-year-old center include: Checkers, Starbucks, Chino's, Walgreens Drug Store, Fantastic Sams and Wachovia Bank.

Casto mortgaged the center to National City Bank for $11.16 million.

Corvus International acquires

two Riviera Dunes pieces

Sanctuary Development Partners LLC, a partnership between Corvus International and Svenson Enterprises, purchased about 211 acres of vacant land, east of the Bel Mare project at Riviera Dunes, from Palmetto 2 LP for $15 million. The site is approved for 1,190 residential units along with about 25 acres of retail space along U.S. 301.

"We are planning to probably build a lower density," says Tim Morris, principal of Corvus International and Bluewater Development. "We are planning three basic types of residential development there: single family, four-story low-rises and seven 10- to 12-story high-rise condominiums. We are still working with the city of Palmetto on a lot of the specifics."

Groundbreaking is expected in the fourth quarter. Condos and single-family homes will range in price from the mid $300,000s to more than $2 million.

Corvus has signed an exclusive builder agreement with Lee Wetherington Homes, John Cannon Homes and Corvus International's custom home division, Bluewater Construction, for the more than 270 single-family home sites planned for the project. Corvus mortgaged the Sanctuary property to Ameriserv Trust and Financial Services Co., Trustee and Building Union Investment and Local Etc. for $20.5 million.

Corvus also purchased 12.6 acres of commercial land near the Manatee Convention Center from local businessman Gilbert Waters for $2.65 million.

"This gives us several options for retail schemes," Morris says. "We are considering doing clustered paired villas and even a potential hotel user. Those discussions are ongoing. Our long-term plan is probably for a grocery store, some retail and a hotel ... a good group of amenities for Bel Mare and the Sanctuary."

Corvus International's other local projects include: Bel Mare at Riviera Dunes, 186 condominium units in three 15-story towers with approximately 100,000 square feet of retail and specialty shops in the 214-acre Riviera Dunes Resort and Yacht Club in Palmetto. Warehouse space should come on line in the third quarter.

Corvus International LLC is a Bloomfield Hills, Mich.- and Sarasota-based real estate development firm. In addition to its Florida projects, Corvus is also developing approximately 1,000,000 square feet of industrial, technology and office real estate throughout the Midwest, with a current project volume valued in excess of $800 million.

Realco Florida buys

part of Main Street

North Fort Myers-based Realco Florida purchased several parcels of land near the Main Street development in Lakewood Ranch from Casto Southeast and Schroeder-Manatee Ranch Inc. for $1.9 million.

Realco Florida President Larry Pearce says his company is developing 64 condominium units as part of the Main Street project. Construction is underway on the building that will house The Lofts on Main, the first phase of Pearce's plans for Main Street. The Lofts is planned as a three-story building with retail on the street level and 10 condominium units each on the upper two levels. The Lofts units will range in size from 1,400-1,500 square feet.

"You will approach the condos from the opposite side of the building," Pearce says. "We hope to follow this up later this summer with the two-building The Lakeshore."

Each Lakeshore building is designed to hold 22 condominium units, with the two buildings linked together in the center by an amenities area that will including a pool, spa and fitness center.

"(The Lakeshore) will have parking underneath the building," Pearce says, "with four floors of condominiums above that. The first three floors will have six units each per floor. The top floor will have four units. We have already sold 20 units in the first one. We should start sales on the next one in two to three weeks."

Pearce expects to start construction on The Lakeshore this summer. Units in Lakeshore will range in size from 1,800-2,200 square feet with 3,000-square-foot penthouses.

"This is our first building in Lakewood Ranch," Pearce says. "We got involved with Casto Southeast in the Whole Foods One Hundred Central project. We partnered with Casto. We are primarily a residential developer in mixed-use projects. After that they asked us to do the residential components of Main Street."

Prices for the condominium units in Main Street have not been finalized but are expected to range from $400,000 to $1.3 million. The entire project is being sold through Lakewood Ranch Realty and built by Birmingham, Ala.-based Hoar Construction.

Realco mortgaged the property to Huntington National Bank for $5.5 million.

DF2 Racing comes

out of retirement

Dieter Flick has transferred a warehouse building, 1701 Desoto Road, Sarasota, from Fawema Packing Machinery Inc. to DF2 Racing Inc. for $595,000. He owns both companies and plans to restart DF2, which has largely been dormant to this point.

"It was a company I started in Nashville," Flick says. "DF2 makes parts for high-performance cars. It was more of a hobby. But the high dollar against the Deutsche Mark forced me to close it for a couple years. Now with things again in favor of the Euro, I may be able to activate the company again."

The company makes drive trains for cars, such as the AC Cobra, racing transmissions, gearbox adapters and hydraulic-computer components.

Sandcastles of Sarasota

buys Alley Cats

Sandcastles of Sarasota purchased the former Alley Cats site, at 1542 Fourth St., Sarasota, from Clarke Co. and Clarke Advertising and Public Relations for $1 million.

"We are planning to demolish it to put up a 15,000-square-foot three-story luxury office building," says Jeff Birnbach, senior vice president and CFO. "We are hoping to start construction in July or August."

Birnbach says the company expects to complete the new facility in June of next year. Sandcastles of Sarasota will occupy the first floor and will lease out the second and third floors. An upscale waterfront home builder, Sandcastles will serve as its own general contractor. The estimated cost of construction and tenant improvement for the Fourth Street location will be $3 million.

Sandcastles owns property it currently occupies at 1901 Morrill St., Sarasota, and leases space in the U.S. Garage building.

"We're not sure whether we will sell it or lease it," Birnbach says. "We are going to build the building to the same high level of finish as our homes. For example our entryway will be built of high-end natural stone. It's all going to be wood and hand finished materials."

Sandcastles and the limited liability corporation under which it purchased the property, Fourth Street Partners LLC, mortgaged the property to People's Community Bank of the West Coast for $965,000.

Prestige Builders buys

Camden at Palmer Ranch

Miami-based Prestige Builders Group Corp. purchased Camden at Palmer Ranch, 4012 Crockers Lake Blvd., Sarasota, from Pennsauken, N.J.-based Crocker Group Ltd. Partnership for $41.5 million.

The company, which late last year purchased and converted The Savoy at Palmer Ranch apartment complex into the Serenade on Palmer condominium, has similar plans for Camden.

"It's being called the Vintage Grand," says Jason Levy of the Miami-based marketing firm Creative Mindworks. "The 432-unit development is set for a grand opening in March. Renters there get a 45 day option to buy." The price range for the units has not yet been set.

Camden acquired the property from Security Capital Pacific Trust for $27.8 million in November 1998.

Prestige Builders mortgaged the property to Commerce Bank for $39 million.

Lancer Group plans

Tamiami condos

The Lancer Group, currently based out of Ohio, purchased several acres at 1601 N. Tamiami Trail from First Choice Construction Inc. for $547,500.

"We are going to be building some condos there," says Thomas Connor, managing partner of Lancer Group. " We will he build in two phases about 36 units on the land near Blackburn Road and Tamiami."

The complex will feature nine buildings of four-units each and a swimming pool. The development, two miles from Nokomis Beach, is set to breakground in March. The general contractor for the project is Henning Group of Naples.

"The first phase (of the development) should be completed in January," Connor says. "Each unit will be about 1,500 square feet with attached garages. This is our first project in Florida."

The units are expected to be priced from $300,000. The Lancer Group mortgaged the property to Century Bank for $643,860.


• Manatee County purchased a mobile home park at 6106 63rd St. E., Bradenton, from Curtis and Helen Johnson for $758,000.

• Barry Seidel, president of American Property Group of Sarasota Inc., and his wife, Leslye, purchased a one-half-acre car lot, at 904 Tamiami Trail, Osprey, from CJB Property Development LLC for $475,000.

• Courthouse Centre, a new 60,000-square-foot mixed-use project in downtown Sarasota, has an anchor tenant: Synovus Bank (United Bank) has signed a lease and will be the anchor commercial tenant in the new project to open shortly. The bank will occupy 9,400 square feet for its new downtown Sarasota headquarters, or about 15% of the space. The building will be signed and named "Synovus Bank Center" upon its planned mid-year opening. Courthouse Centre, located on the corner of Main Street, Washington Street and Ringling Boulevard, is planning a spring/summer 2005 opening. This real estate transaction was handled and the project was proposed by Diane Lawson, of Sarasota Commercial, and Stan Rutstein, of Wagner Realty. Synovus Bank was represented by Jay Heagerty, of Wagner Realty.

• The Founders Club announced plans to build 13 maintenance-free golf cottages in its 700-acre enclave at 9000 Fruitville Road. Tom Brown and Jay Tallman are partners of U.S. Assets Group, which is developing The Founders Club with Fred Starling of The Starling Group. Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed the private golf course.

The Founders Club is releasing the home sites for sale this month and has begun accepting reservations. "We will begin construction in July and expect to complete the cottages in about 14 months," Brown says. Prices begin at $1.6 million for the estate homes. The three- to five-bedroom homes will range from 3,200 square feet to 5,700 square feet with detached garages and private guest quarters.

• The U.S. Tower Division of Taylor Woodrow plans to top out the eight-story luxury condominium Beleza on Venice Beach this month. Frank Cirillo, project manager for Taylor Woodrow's U.S. Tower Division, said all 26 condominium residences have been sold.

Beleza on Venice Beach will offer garage parking on the ground floor and a second floor community center with a fitness center and heated swimming pool. Three-bedroom luxury residences at Beleza average 2,400 square feet of living space. Beleza is expected to open before the end of the year.

• Saul Lapidus purchased a 2,719-square-foot commercial building at 923 S. Tamiami Trail, Nokomis, from Jeffrey Smith for $227,500. Barry Seidel, of American Property Group, handled the transaction.

• RJ's Coin Castle leased about 2,335 square feet at 7922 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, for a video gaming center from GFL Realty LLC. Barry Seidel, of American Property Group, represented the landlord, and Michael Witt, of American Property Group, represented the tenant.

• United Investments LLP bought 1.61 acres at 7201, 7214 and 7224 22nd St. E., Sarasota, from DFM/Sarasota Properties LLC for $358,455. Carl Wise, of Preferred Commercial Inc., represented the seller, and Mike Edwards, of Edwards Commercial Realty Inc., represented the buyer.

• ValleyCrest Landscape Maintenance Inc. purchased lots 65 and 66 Paul Morris Drive in Morris Industrial Park, Englewood, from Marshall Land Development f/k/a Morris & Marshall Inc. for $287,840. Christine Walter, of Richardson Kleiber Walter Walter Partnership, handled the sales.

• Volt Telecom Group leased 900 square feet of office space at 240 Blue Juniper Blvd., Venice, in Interstate Commerce Center from Douglas and Diana Shaw. Christine Walter, of Richardson Kleiber Walter Walter Partnership, handled the transaction.

• Audrey Greco d/b/a Nokomis Barber Shop leased 800 square feet of retail space at 627 Tamiami Trail, Nokomis, in the Park Isles Plaza from Park Isles Properties. Christine Walter, of Richardson Kleiber Walter Walter Partnership, handled the transaction.

• Morgan Beaumont leased 10,125 square feet of office space at 6015 31st St. E., Bradenton, from The 6015 LLC. David Greenfield, of First Property Group, represented the landlord, and Marcia Cuttler, of American Property Group, represented the tenant.

• McKenzie Office Professionals LLC leased 2,000 square feet of office space at 3333 N. Washington Blvd., Sarasota, from Paramount-Cherry LLC. Marcia Cuttler, of American Property Group, represented the transaction.

• GATORTECH leased 1,375 square feet of office space at 6981 Curtiss Ave., Sarasota, from HADCO Properties. Marcia Cuttler, of American Property Group, represented the transaction.

• Steve Solomon Inc. purchased about 34 acres at 21st Street E., Bradenton, from Dan Blalock, trustee, for about $1.8 million. Bill Kleiber, of Richardson Kleiber Walter Kleiber Partnership, and Bill Blalock, of Wyman Green and Blalock Real Estate, handled the transaction.

• Sarasota Business Plaza LLLP purchased 28 acres at 6600 Fruitville Road from Paul and Carol Eskew. Ristorcelli & Associates, Joan Silvernail, Equity Exchange Services Inc., The G&R Townsend Partnership, Henry and Josephine Daniels and The Braly-Townsend Family Partner for $4 million. Bill Kleiber, of Richardson Kleiber Walter Kleiber Partnership, handled the transaction.

• Rinehart Homes has purchased the final 20 home sites in Secluded Oaks for the second and final phase of construction in the community, located between Bee Ridge Road and State Road 72, Sarasota. Homes will be priced from $400,000 to more than $700,000.

• Ruden McClosky, a Florida law firm with 10 offices around the state and one office in Venezuela, has announced plans to relocate its offices from 1549 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, to 1515 Ringling Blvd. The firm now occupies the seventh floor of downtown Sarasota's Northern Trust Building, providing the attorneys an additional 2,000 square feet of space. (Totaling more than 10,000 square feet.)

• Hyrdrogel Vision Corp. has leased 25,418 square feet of space at 7575 Commerce Court, Sarasota, from Commerce Court LLC. Michele Fuller and Jag Grewal, of Coldwell Banker Commercial, handled the transaction.

• Pacific Tomato Growers purchased an office building, at 950 7th Ave. W., Palmetto, from William and Ava Sellers for $350,000. The property is at the corner of the company's existing headquarters at 503 10th St. W., Palmetto.

• William and Lynn Bacon, owners of Bacon's Furniture, purchased a 6,375-square-foot warehouse building, at 907 57th St. E., Bradenton, near State Road 64 from 5904 E. S.R. 64 Inc. for $550,000.

"We just haven't decided what our plans are for the site yet," says Lee Bacon.

• Sarasota County purchased 11-acres of environmentally sensitive land adjacent to Lemon Bay from Mark Famiglio, trustee, for $2.6 million.

• Ridawn LLC bought a 1,561-square-foot office building at 1522 N. Tamiami Trial, Sarasota, from Richard and Caren Lobo for $685,000. Barry Seidel, of American Property Group, represented the Lobos, and Ester Lennox, of Rosebay Real Estate represented Ridawn LLC.

• Chicago-based Jupiter Hotels 1 LLC purchased the 352-unit Summit Hampton 4550 47th St W, Bradenton, from JRC Hampton Bay LLC for $21.7 million and the Harbour Pointe Apartment at 4501 71st St. W., Bradenton, from JRC Harbour Pointe LLC for $13.6 million.

• Lee Wetherington Cos. has unveiled its new Villa Natalia, a Mizner 5,014-square-foot Mediterranean home with two outdoor living areas and two two-car garages.

The base price for the Villa Natalia in The Country Club at Lakewood Ranch begins at $950,000, including homesite and pool allowance. Lee Wetherington Cos. will also build this model in other locations including the new Lakewood Ranch community of Highfield, on an owner's homesite elsewhere within Sarasota and Manatee Counties and in The Founders Club, a luxury home and golf course community on Fruitville Road just three miles east of I-75. The Villa Natalia in The Founders Club is priced from $1,192,500, including the homesite.


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