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Real Estate Briefs (Sara/Mana)

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  • | 6:00 p.m. March 18, 2005
  • Commercial Real Estate
  • Manatee–Sarasota
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Real Estate Briefs (Sara/Mana)

Corvus plans

local headquarters

Former Birmingham, Mich.-based real estate development firm Corvus International, has submitted plans to construct a new headquarters at the southeast corner of University Avenue and U.S. 41 in Sarasota. Construction on the two-story, 23,000-square-foot building is slated to begin in the fourth quarter, according to Tim Morris, chief executive officer of Corvus International.

"All of our Florida development operations will be located at this new site," Morris says. Sarasota architect William Thorning Little will design the building.

The site was acquired as part of a land swap between Corvus International and USF/New College. Morris says, Corvus plans to work with the City of Sarasota and New College to make visual improvements to the corner entrance site, including clean up of the existing retention pond on the property.

Corvus International is involved in a number of area development projects including: Positano on the Gulf, developed in conjunction with the Devlin Group and BSG Communities, comprised of 29 estate condominiums located directly on the Gulf of Mexico at the site of the former Holiday Inn on Longboat Key; Bel Mare at Riviera Dunes, comprised of 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; The Sanctuary, an new 1,190-unit residential development in Palmetto on approximately 211 acres of riverfront property just east of the Bel Mare project; The O2 Towers in Tampa's Channelside District, comprised of 410 condominium units in twin 41-story residential towers with more than 100,000 square feet of retail and related specialty shops (ground breaking is expected to begin in October 2005); and The Pasco Industrial Park, a 170-acre planned industrial park at Interstate 75 and State Road 52 in Pasco County. The new industrial park will support up to 1.6 million square feet of distribution and warehouse space and should come on line in the third quarter. In addition, Corvus is in the early project stages of developing 29-loft residences and retail space on Fruitville Road and Lemon Avenue in downtown Sarasota.

Corvus is also developing about one million square feet of industrial, high tech and office real estate throughout the United States, with a current project volume valued in excess of one billion dollars.

Benderson's town center

up for commission review

It appears that Benderson Development Co.'s plans for the University Town Center development, in Sarasota Interstate Park of Commerce at the southwest corner of University Parkway and Interstate 75, are nearing reality. The proposal was scheduled for a public hearing before the Sarasota County Planning Commission on March 17 (after GCBR's deadline).

Phase one of the proposal calls for the retail giant to develop 600,000 square feet of retail space, including a Muvico movie theater, a SuperTarget, restaurants, a hotel and residences.

Chiles buys

Island's End

Ed Chiles, owner of the Sandbar, Mar Vista Dockside and Beach House, purchased the Bistro at Island's End, at 206 Pine Ave., Anna Maria Island, from Bistro Blanton Holdings LLC, owned by Sean Murphy and Lise Blanton, for $1.75 million.

"It's just a great piece of property," Chiles says. "It's located adjacent to our property (the Sandbar). This should help us a lot in the area of parking."

Chiles says he and his staff have not decided on the final use for the restaurant, but in the short term, he expects to use it as banquet and wedding facilities.

Chiles' companies: Weld Inc., Elra Inc., Marvista Group Inc. and Rhed Pine Inc. mortgaged the property to Bank of America for $1.8 million.

Benderson Development buys

downtown Ellis building

Bradenton-based Benderson Development Co. Inc. purchased the 130,189-square-foot Ellis building, located at 1605 Main St., in downtown Sarasota, from Palm Beach-based Tricony Management for $13.5 million. Although, largely known as a retail developer, Benderson Development owns several office and industrial properties in the two-county market and nationwide. The company also owns other office buildings it acquired outside the local region, such as its former headquarters in Buffalo, N.Y. according to Larry Fineberg, Benderson's vice president of leasing.

"This is something we are very familiar with," Fineberg says. "We have wanted to be part of downtown for a while. We expect even greater things. The very first time I drove down Main Street, it just jumped out as a building we would want to own."

Fineberg says the Ellis building is easily one of the best buildings on Main Street because of its condition, the availability of parking and traffic flow.

"We are planning some renovations just to make it that much better," he says. The building has an 89% occupancy rate; its entire fourth floor is unoccupied. Fineberg says the fourth floor offers an additional advantage to a potential tenant because it features a terrace.

"We feel this has the potential to be the No. 1 one building in downtown," he says.

The Ellis building houses Bank of America and the University Club, among others.

Florida Land Management

buys Manatee grove

Claude and Lydia Melli's Brandon-based Florida Land Management Inc. purchased a 200-acre orange grove between Myakka City and Wachula from Arrowhead Management Inc. for $1.4 million.

"It was just a well-run grove, and the price of groves is definitely going up," says Claude Melli. "The time was just right."

Asked about the possibility of the Florida Land Management converting the grove into a residential development, Melli says he has no plans for that in the foreseeable future.

Florida Land Management, a grove management firm, owns properties in Hardee, Desoto, Highlands and Manatee counties.

Investors purchase

Casey Key resort

The investment group of A Beach Retreat LLC purchased the 27-room hotel A Beach Resort, located at 105 Casey Key Road, Casey Key, from Mamie Enterprises Inc. for $6.67 million.

"The location was just tremendous and to get that many units on the beach was just extraordinary," says Jim Foster, a Longboat Key businessman and managing member of the investment group,

Foster says, although the resort is in good condition overall, the new ownership does plan to renovate it.

"We are just fixing it up; bringing it up to the current times," he says. "We expect to start our renovations later this summer. We are booked all the way through April. We have no plans to (condominiumize) it at least in the near future. In fact with most of the hotels being torn down, it puts us in a pretty good position."

Foster says the same group of investors is looking to acquire other beachfront properties.

A Beach Retreat LLC mortgaged the property to Century Bank FSB for $5.5 million.

HandyTrac growing

to 53rd Avenue

An affiliate of HandyTrac Systems Inc., Optimum Properties, purchased a one-story, 11,200-square-foot building, located at 5129 53rd Ave. E., Bradenton, from Wendell, Michael and John Morrison for $1.33 million. According to John Lie-Nielsen, chief executive officer, HandyTrac is relocating to a new facility to prepare for its future growth.

About 4,700 square feet in the new facility will be devoted to office space, and the remaining 6,500 square feet is slated for use as a warehouse or shop.

The company currently occupies 3,500 square feet in the Cortez Shopping Village complex in Bradenton.

All American Truck and SUV Accessories, which currently rents space in the 53rd Avenue building, will remain a tenant.

HandyTrac Systems Inc. is a supplier of computerized key-control systems. The company has regional service/training centers in Atlanta, Dallas, Phoenix and Bradenton. Additional centers are planned for Chicago and Washington, D.C.

Kaplan invests in residential, commercial properties

Sarasota entrepreneur Marvin Kaplan purchased multifamily land at 1676 and 1714 Devonshire Lane, Sarasota, from Warren and Eillen Vale and Thomas Stuart for $2.6 million.

"I'm planning to build about 15 single-family homes there," Kaplan says. "There is a big need for downtown living."

Kaplan's company Baykap Inc. mortgaged the property to First Priority Bank for $2 million.

At the same time, Kaplan purchased the former Ironworks industrial 6,000-square-foot building at 1001 Central Ave., Sarasota, from S Grace Enterprises LLC for $850,000. Kaplan expects to lease the building for around $75,000 a year triple net. The building is being listed with Ian Black Real Estate.

Kaplan mortgaged the property to LandMark Bank for $1.2 million.


• 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 three miles east of I-75. The Villa Natalia in The Founders Club is priced from $1,192,500, including the homesite.

• Scoop Real Estate LP purchased a Starbucks in Tupelo, Miss., from the Hancock Family Partnership for $941,000. Steve Horn, of Ian Black Real Estate, and Jim Morris, of CB Richard Ellis, handled the transaction.

• 214 Main Street Inc. purchased a 6,000-square-foot building (Pedro's) located at 1001 Central Ave., Sarasota, from S/Grace Enterprises, LLC for $850,000. Ian Black and Steve Horn, of Ian Black Real Estate, handled the transaction.

• Sarasota Commercial Management Inc. has relocated its headquarters to 711 S. Osprey Ave., Suite 1, Sarasota. The recently renovated, 5,000 square-foot office space will provide work areas for the firm's growing management, development, leasing/sales, maintenance and administrative staff groups. SCM currently manages 27 properties in Sarasota and Charlotte counties - three times the number managed when the firm moved to its previous office in 2000. Mindy Parker, SCM owner and broker, attributes the additional space to company growth and impending opening of Courthouse Centre.

"We've needed to move for a while, and now we'll have the room and resources - the infrastructure - to make us more efficient and better able to grow," Parker says.

SCM will occupy almost half of the 10,500-square-foot 711 Building, which was previously occupied by Glauser Subaru. Other tenants will include MP Artworks (of which Parker is also a co-owner) and the Metro Coffee & Wine Bar.

• Kellogg & Kimsey Inc. recently completed a 236-square-foot addition to the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota's Cigar Bar. The contractor also replaced the roof of the First Presbyterian Church in Sarasota's fellowship hall. Smith Architects PA acted as architect at First Presbyterian Church, and Milton Pate Architects did the design work at the Ritz Carlton Founder's Room.

• LWR Communities LLC, the developer of the master-planned community of Lakewood Ranch, has selected 10 builders for its newest village, The Lake Club. Home construction is expected to start in the fall. At completion, The Lake Club's land plan calls for about 768 single-family homes and about 322 coach homes and condominiums. Home builders include: Anchor Builders, John Cannon Homes, Lee Wetherington Homes, Peregrine Homes, Pruett Builders, Todd Johnston Homes, Landmark Development Group and London Bay, both of Naples; Marc Rutenberg Homes of Tarpon Springs and Westwater Construction of Sarasota.

The 1,600 acres Lake Club is east of Lorraine Road, just north of University Parkway.

• The Sarasota Herald Tribune leased a 10,000-square-foot warehouse at 1001 Corporate Ave., North Port, from Arnold Development Co. for about $6.45 a square foot. The warehouse space will be used as a distribution facility for newspapers throughout south Sarasota County and Charlotte County. Tony Veldkamp of Michael Saunders & Co.'s Commercial Group represented the Sarasota Herald Tribune.

• A financial services company Verifier Inc. and a Pennsylvania commercial retail developer H.L. Libby have leased two suites (204 and 205) in Sarasota at 950 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Both properties are more than 750 square feet and both leased for $14 per square foot. Tony Veldkamp of Michael Saunders & Co.'s Commercial Group, is the exclusive transaction agent for the building.

• GTE Federal Credit Union purchased a parcel at the DeSoto Square Mall, located at 303 301 Blvd. W., Bradenton, from Simon Capital Ltd. Partnership for $750,000.

• Lucuma Designs leased 2,400 square feet of office/warehouse space at 1144 Tallevast Road, Unit 107, in the Tallevast Commerce Center from DTC Enterprises Tallevast Partnership. Christine Walter, of Richardson, Kleiber, Walter Walter Partnership, represented the lessee, and Jim Walter, of Richardson, Kleiber, Walter Walter Partnership, represented the lessor.

• Premier Mortgage Funding Inc. leased 2,500 square feet of office space at 1144 Tallevast Road, Unit 101 in the Tallevast Commerce Center from DTC Enterprises Tallevast Partnership. Christine Walter, of Richardson, Kleiber, Walter Walter Partnership, represented the lessee, and Jim Walter, of Richardson, Kleiber, Walter Walter Partnership, represented the lessor.

• Cessaroni Technology U.S. leased 2,400 square feet of office/warehouse space at 1144 Tallevast Road, Unit 108 in the Tallevast Commerce Center from DTC Enterprises Tallevast Partnership. Christine Walter, of Richardson, Kleiber, Walter Walter Partnership, represented the lessee, and Jim Walter, of Richardson, Kleiber, Walter Walter Partnership, represented the lessor.

• Little Palm Real Estate LLC leased 2,358 square feet of office space at 341 Miami Ave. W., Venice, from trustee Jack M. Severson. Christine Walter, of Richardson, Kleiber, Walter Walter Partnership, represented the lessor, and Donna Palm, of Little Palm Real Estate LLC, represented the tenant.

• Sean and Rachel Hill purchased the office/warehouse building, located at 500 Base Ave., Venice, from Donald and Janet Landis for $335,000. Jim Walter, of Richardson, Kleiber, Walter Walter Partnership, handled the transaction.


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