Real Estate Briefs (Tampa edition)
Hillsborough site development
begins with demolition
TRG Member LLC, an affiliate of Greenwich, Conn.-based The Richman Group of Cos., has begun demolishing the former Winn-Dixie warehouse at 2450 E. Hillsborough Ave. to make way for 360 multifamily residential apartment units.
"We expect the apartments to be ready by March 2006," said Lydia Runkle, development secretary of West Palm Beach, Fl.-based TRG Member LLC, one of the three entities that obtained the mortgage for the proposed buildings.
Meridian Pointe Apartments Ltd, Meridian Pointe GP LLC, and TRG Member LLC mortgaged the property for $19.8 million each to Hillsborough County Housing Finance Authority and Citibank FSB. Kristin M. Miller, David Salzman, William T. Fabbri, Gina K. Dodge and Neal Ludeke are the partners/directors of TRG Member LLC.
The Richman Group of Cos. and its affiliates have been active developers of luxury and affordable residential units nationwide. According to a company Web site, it has developed more than 8,000 residential units. Among its Tampa Bay area apartments are Royal Palm Key, Morgan Creek and Grand Oaks.
Fertilizer company obtains
$850 million security credit
The Minneapolis, Minn.-based Mosaic Co. obtained a mortgage of $17,642,640 as part of an $850 million security package for senior secured credit facilities, according to Kevin Brindley, the company's vice-president and treasurer.
The security package includes $450 million for revolving credit facility, $350 million for term loan B and $50 million for term loan facilities. The agent for this new credit facility is J.P. Morgan Chase Bank NA.
Mosaic, born out of a merger between Cargill Crop Nutrition and IMC Global Inc., is the largest producer of processed phosphates in the world, with annual revenues exceeding $4.5 billion. It employs more than 8,000 people worldwide.
Mosaic's phosphate fertilizer plant in Tampa is at 8813 U.S. 41 South.
sold to a new investor
Riverbrook Apartments at 4111 Poplar Ave., Tampa, has a new owner. Steven Green of New-York-based Green Realty bought the 164-unit multifamily residential property from Nashville-based Brookside Properties Inc. for $5,511,475.
"Riverbrook was purchased based upon the strength of the Tampa market," Green said. "We intend to make several capital improvements, including new windows, new roofs, fresh paint and upgraded tenant amenities."
Green Realty, which has been investing in the Tampa market since 1998, used the name Riverbrook Realty Co. LLC for the transaction.
CB Richard Ellis
appoints new director
CB Richard Ellis appointed Scott Gray as the firm's new director of Central Florida, according to a Feb. 28 press statement. He will oversee management and leasing for Central Florida and Puerto Rico with a portfolio of about 10 million square feet.
"The challenge is to help CB continue the tremendous growth from the past year," said Gray, who comes to CBRE from MetLife, where he managed more than 3 million square feet of Class–A office, industrial and retail space as well as multifamily residential properties. Some of his clients included high profile companies such as GE Capital, LaSalle Partners, MetLife, SIBAG and Paragon group.
Gray will split up responsibility for Florida with two other directors in charge of North and South Florida.
vacancy rates decline
Tampa, Miami and Orlando are in good company, ranking in the top five of the nation's leading commercial business districts with low vacancy rates, alongside the leader Orange County, Calif., and No. 3 Oakland, Calif. according to Cushman & Wakefield's 2004 Office Market Barometer.
The Barometer forecasts that by 2006 the vacancy rates for these three Florida CBDs will drop an average of three and a half percentage points and rental rate increases are expected to be about $.30 higher on average.
"The factors of vacancy rate declines and rental rate increases buoyed by optimistic forecasts establish these markets as currents leaders and future contenders," according to the Barometer.
However, Tampa and Orlando suburbs are categorized as "stabilizing" and "lagging," respectively. Notable suburban markets include Pinellas, Miami and Palm Beach, the Barometer notes.
Embassy Suites Hotel
owner secures loan
Eagle Hospitality Properties Trust Inc. secured a five-year non-recourse loan of $81.8 million and Hillsborough County court records show Embassy Suites Hotel Tampa-Airport/Westshore borrowed $30 million toward it.
Prudential Insurance Co. of America provided the loan.
Eagle Hospitality Properties Trust is a real estate investment company pursuing investment opportunities in the full-service and all-suites hotel industry. On Feb. 25, the company announced the closing of the previously announced acquisition of the 270-room Embassy Suites Hotel Phoenix-Scottsdale in Arizona. The company intends to qualify as a real estate investment trust.
The company expects favorable returns from its Tampa property in 2005 based on PKF Consulting's projections of Tampa being among the top five cities with improved room rates, according to President/Chief Executive Officer J. William Blackham.
• The Ross Realty Group Inc. announced the sale of Bayside Industrial Park, comprised of seven buildings, and located at 12485 44th Ave. and 4477 122nd Ave., Clearwater, for $4,075,000. Elliot M. Ross represented the buyer, Bayside Industrial Park LLC, and Ken Goff of Ken Goff Realty represented the seller, Dynamic Investments Inc.
• Colliers Arnold Commercial Real Estate Services negotiated a five-year lease at the Dibbs Center Shopping Center, 15433 N. Dale Mabry Highway, for The Little Gym, a national franchise that provides developmental gymnastics for infants through grade school children. This is the first center in Hillsborough County. Ben McLeish, director of retail services at Colliers represented the tenant, Tampa-based RSSA Corp. d/b/a The Little Gym which will occupy 3,996 square feet. The landlord is North Dale Development Ltd. of Tampa.
• Anne L. Madden has been elected to vice chair and Jacqueline R. Wilson to member-at-large of Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission.
Madden's election resulted from a series of events arising out of T. Clay Phillips' resignation when he became employed by the Hillsborough County Clerk of the Circuit Court.
Tampa City Council appointed Tampa resident and attorney Bruce P. Cury to fill the balance of Phillips' term on the Commission.