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Real Estate Briefs

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  • | 6:00 p.m. April 28, 2006
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Real Estate Briefs


TC Group buys land for Venice galleria

BUYER: Ventura Commerce Park LLC (principal: Christopher Deveso), Venice

SELLER: Denham Acres Partnership

PROPERTY: 1606 and 1460 E. Venice Ave., Venice

PRICE: $2.39 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $1 million, October 2003 and $170,000, September 2005

SELLER: Venice Gateway Business Park LLC

PROPERTY: 1500 E. Venice Ave., Venice

PRICE: $2.2 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $1 million, October 2004

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Ruden McClosky Smith Schuster & Russell PA, Sarasota

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Venice-based TC Group purchased 10.5 acres in Venice for a mixed-use professional and medical office park with additional retail space.

"We just got final planning commission approval," says Christopher Deveso, managing partner with TC Group. "This is going to be 10 buildings, excluding the outparcels. We're planning a very upscale, pedestrian-friendly park. They're all going to be interconnected with breezeways."

The development is called the Galleria on Venice Avenue. The main buildings, which are planned as office condominiums, will occupy 80,000 square feet, but with the outparcels, Deveso says the entire galleria will likely be more than 100,000 square feet.

Deveso hopes to start construction this summer.

The new owner mortgaged the property to Synovus Bank of Tampa for $10 million.

First Florida Bank

expands into Venice

BUYER: First Florida Bank, Naples

SELLER: HRB Property Corp., formerly Olde Property Corp.

PROPERTY: 101 Center Road, Venice

PRICE: $1.75 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $584,286, February 1993

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP, Naples

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Naples-based First Florida Bank, which was recently acquired by Synovus Financial Corp., is expanding into Sarasota County. Bank chairman and CEO Robert Smedley says the 6-year-old bank acquired a 4,100-square-foot office building in Venice to renovate and reopen as a bank branch.

"I think we're looking at an October or November opening date," Smedley says. "I just think it's a great location. It's a former bank branch that was taken over by H&R Block."

Smedley says the bank is looking heavily at other expansion sites both in southern Sarasota - around Englewood and North Port, and in Lee and Charlotte counties.

"We have a loan production office in Charlotte now, but we are looking at three other sites there," Smedley says. "We are looking at two more offices in Fort Myers. We have one under construction in Bonita Springs right now near old U.S. 41. We really see the entire west coast of Florida's rapidly growing market as an opportunity."

Smedley says the bank will open a minimum of three new branches this year.

Developer plans

Palmetto industrial park

Treasure Island-based Memphis Road Industrial Park LLC filed a site plan to develop a 93,750-sqaure-foot industrial park at 1400 E. 17th St., Palmetto. According to Thomas McCormick of Cornerstone Inc., the parent of the limited liability company, the park is envisioned as nine 9,700-square-foot buildings and one 6,000-square-foot building.

"We are going to start [building] as soon as we have our county approvals," McCormick says. "Cornerstone Buildings Concepts will be constructing all the buildings. It just really looked like a good location because of the all the growth around it. It's near [Port Manatee, Interstate 75 and Interstate 275.] It's just very strategically located."


• Bradenton-based Bruce Williams Home opened 35 new home sites at Lexington II, located on U.S. 301, four miles east of Interstate 75 in Parrish. New homes at Lexington II range in size from 2,311 square feet to 3034 square feet. Prices start from the $400s.

• The 29-units Positano on the Gulf has reported six multi-million dollars sales over the past six weeks totaling in excess of $17,700,000 million in sales. Sales prices for the Longboat Key condominium, which is being developed by Corvus International, Devlin Group and BSG Communities, ranging from $2.5 million to over $4.0 million dollars. 

• St. Petersburg-based The Sembler Co. is developing a new RBC branch in Lakewood Ranch. The 3,224-square-foot building will be located at the intersection of Town Center Parkway and Nature's Way. This branch will be the 12th RBC bank that The Sembler Co. has developed in Florida. Hawkins Construction Co. is the contractor, and Lyman Davidson Dooley, Inc. is the architect.  The branch is expected to open in the fall of 2006.


Florida Gulf Coast University buys land for expansion

BUYER: Florida Gulf Coast University Financing Corp., Fort Myers

SELLER: Brompton Road Partners LLC

PROPERTY: 300 Goodlette Road S., Naples

PRICE: $5 million

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Fort Myers' Florida Gulf Coast University purchased two acres at the northwest corner of U.S. 41 East and Goodlette-Frank Road in Naples to build a 50,000-square-foot building.

"This new building will house seven classrooms, lab space and a 300-seat lecture hall, which can also be used as performance space for music," says Steve Magiera, vice president of advancement for Florida Gulf Coast University.

The school's Renaissance Academy now offers programs to about 6,000 people in a 7,000-square-foot space it rents on Fifth Avenue in Naples.

According to Magiera, the school is in its silent mini-campaign period before it aggressively seeks the $15 million needed to build the new facility. The school plans to ask the Florida Legislature to approve matching construction funds.

"This will give us a larger presence," he says.

Miami home builder

buys in Fort Myers

BUYER: Westbury Lake Developers Inc. (principals Francisco and Alejandro Robles and Eduardo Garcia-Allen), Miami

SELLER: Lyndon Investments USA Inc., Fort Myers

PROPERTY: Land in Westbury Park

PRICE: $5 million

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Premier Design Homes Inc. of Miami acquired land, called Tract G, in Westbury Park. Company representatives told the Review there are no definite plans about future use of the property. Premier Design Homes currently has two ongoing projects in Lee County: the Verona at Bonita Springs and The Oaks at Whiskey Creek.

The new owners mortgaged the property to Regions Bank for $3.38 million.

Furniture Imports buys

Naples warehouse

BUYER: Furniture Imports Inc. (principals Bruce and Iris Sissler), Naples

SELLER: Dan Henthorne and Henthorne Taylor Road LLC

PROPERTY: 6266 Taylor Road, Naples

PRICE: $1.45 million

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Furniture Imports Inc. purchased a 10,680-square-foot industrial building on 0.68 acre in Naples. The new owners mortgaged the property to Partners Bank for $1.16 million. William Gonnering, Investment Properties Corp., negotiated the transaction.

Elias Brothers buys land for Raffia

BUYER: Elias Brothers Communities Raffia Preserve Inc., Naples

SELLER: Eleanor Rosenman, trustee

PROPERTY: 4295 Wolfe Road, Naples

PRICE: $1.82 million

SELLER: Harry and Michael Rosenman

PROPERTY: Agricultural land, Naples

PRICE: $1.625 million

SELLER: Allen Rosenman and Trust

PROPERTY: Agricultural land, Naples

PRICE: $812,500

SELLER: Harry and Michael Rosenman

PROPERTY: Agricultural land, Naples

PRICE: $793,900

SELLER: Harry and Michael Rosenman

PROPERTY: Agricultural land, Naples

PRICE: $1.625 million

SELLER: Norma and William Fleming, individuals and trust

PROPERTY: Agricultural land, Naples

PRICE: $1.34 million

SELLER: Harvey Brothers Farms Inc.

PROPERTY: Agricultural land, Naples

PRICE: $1.5 million


• Construction has begun on the 26th and final building at Paloma, a neighborhood of carriage homes built by Centex Homes in Palmira Golf & Country Club, a golf course community located on Bonita Beach Road in Bonita Springs. Each two-story building consists of four residences and at completion Paloma will have 104 residences. The community overlooks Palmira's Gordon Lewis, 27-hole golf course and/or surrounding lakes. Paloma carriage homes start from the high $400,000s.

• TCL Realty Inc. purchased 19 acres on Pine Island Road in Cape Coral from EC Stern Enterprises Inc. for $ 11.36 million. Gregg Fous of Market America Realty & Investments Inc. represented the seller, and Barbara Plambeck of Cape Properties Inc. represented the buyer.

• The partnership of Naples-based Kraft Construction and the architectural-firm Schenkel Shultz was selected by Cape Coral to design and construct the Academic Village project. Located on 171 acres at the intersection of Del Prado Boulevard and Kismet Parkway, the Academic Village will include a charter high school, media/library building, academic buildings for university classes, performing arts facility and athletic facilities.

Located in northeast Cape Coral, Academic Village will form a partnership among a variety of interests, including the Cape Coral, the Lee County School District, the Lee County Commission and various university/college branches. The partners will create an academic environment within a campus setting. The city bought the land in 2003. With the assistance of Kraft/Schenkel Shultz, master planning and permitting will move toward construction.


Finergy buys in Channelside, plans condo/hotel

BUYER: Finergy Channelside Holding LLC (principal: Enzo Gagliardi), Sarasota

SELLER: Channelside Group LLC

PROPERTY: 217 11th St., Tampa

PRICE: $3.6 million

SELLER: Amazon Hose & Rubber Co.

PROPERTY: 222 N. 12th St., Tampa

PRICE: $3.44 million

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Another high-rise is planned for Tampa's Channelside. Sarasota-based Finergy Development purchased about two acres in a formerly industrial area of the district. Eric Collin, vice president of development for Finergy, says the 22-story project is planned as a mixture of residential, hotel and commercial space.

"We're planning to apply for 226 residential condo units, 119 hotel units and about 50,000 square feet of retail," Collin says. 'We're starting to talk with brands now, including Hilton, Marriott and potentially Hyatt. We will be making a formal decision in about a month on what franchise it will be."

The proposed development would be Finergy's first project in the Tampa market.

"We saw that there was a lack of hotel rooms in the Channelside area," Collin says. "Right now downtown [Tampa] is pretty much covered, and the number of hotels in Ybor City is growing. The city is being very supportive of redevelopment there. We are going to be asking the city for additional density and height in exchange for a public area we will provide, parking, retail on the ground floor and wider sidewalks."

The developer also plans to offer a financing program to certain buyers to make the units more obtainable.

Construction is expected to start in February 2007.

Retail center owner

buys Universal Plaza

BUYER: Make Us an Offer 3 LLC (principal: David Spezza), New Port Richey

SELLER: Universal Plaza Associates

PROPERTY: 3609 Universal Plaza, New Port Richey

PRICE: $4.3 million

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Equity Partners Real Estate acquired the 90,000-square-foot Universal Plaza strip center. David Spezza, of Equity Partners, says he's still evaluating the site, but he might lease out as much as 8,000 square feet.

"We own about eight shopping centers right now," Spezza says. "We own the Starlight Plaza, Northside Square and the 21st Century Pavilion. We feel good about the property and its location."

Make Us an Offer 3 LLC mortgaged the property to Wachovia Bank for $3.45 million.

Marker 1 Marina

sold to Dunedin buyers

BUYER: Pinellas Marina LLC (principals: Michael Sheeks and Patrick Shepard), Dunedin

SELLER: Bettmar Inc.

PROPERTY: Land on the Dunedin Causeway Center, Dunedin

PRICE: $30 million

SELLER: Proefke Property Ltd.

PROPERTY: 345 Causeway Blvd., Dunedin

PRICE: $6 million

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Two officials of Florida Construction, Michael Sheeks and Patrick Shepard, purchased the Marker 1 Marina in Dunedin. The property has 144 wet slips and 238 dry storage spaces. The Review was unable to contact the new owners.

Pinellas Marina LLC mortgaged the property to one of the former owners, Bettmar Inc., for $30 million.

Colliers Arnold report:

robust growth continues

Clearwater-based Colliers Arnold's First Quarter 2006 Industrial & Flex Market Report for the Tampa Bay area predicts the robust growth and development that characterized the industrial market in 2005 will continue in 2006.

Overall industrial vacancy in the Tampa Bay region is down sharply to 5.5% from the prior quarter of rate of 6.4%. The quarterly report shows equally robust absorption of more than two million square feet of industrial and flex space in the region since January. That includes 958,500 square feet of newly completed space.

In comparison with the Tampa Bay area, the average U.S. industrial vacancy is 8.4% - down from 8.5% the previous quarter.

Local lease rates increased to an average direct rate of $4.85 per square foot (triple net) for warehouse and distribution buildings.

Flex building rates have also increased to an average direct rate of $9.58 per square foot.  

The industrial vacancy rates in various submarkets range from a low of 2.1% in North Pinellas and 3.3% in South Pinellas to 5.6% on Tampa's East Side, 6.2% in the Tampa Airport submarket, 6.8% in Lakeland and a high of 7.6% in the Gateway-Mid-Pinellas submarket.


• Roberts Hotels in St. Louis purchased the Comfort Inn Conference Center, 820 E. Busch Blvd., Tampa, from Royal Palm Busch Gardens LLC for $5.85 million.

• Altamonte Springs-based Emerson Investments International Inc. acquired a 140,757-square-foot suburban office building in Maitland from Hartford, Conn.-based Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers Inc. Mike Davis, senior director with the Cushman & Wakefield's Tampa office, and Rick Solik, senior director with the Cushman & Wakefield's Orlando office, represented the seller.

• Clearwater-based Colliers Arnold Commercial Real Estate Services renovated its real estate Web portal with a new integrated software platform that cost more than $150,000 to develop. J. Patrick Duffy, president of Colliers Arnold, says the system includes a new database and features to make it more interactive.


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