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Commercial RE Briefs

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  • | 6:00 p.m. March 2, 2007
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Commercial RE Briefs

by Sean Roth | Real Estate Editor


Carolina financier buys Tampa, Cape Coral, Plantation apartments

BUYER: MF Hamptons LLC (principal: William Harkins), Charlotte N.C.

SELLER: Bay Hamptons LLC

PROPERTY: 15350 Amberly Drive, Tampa

PRICE: $53.6 million

BUYER: MF Crosswynde LLC (principal: William Harkins), Charlotte N.C.


PROPERTY: 1502 Marsh Cove Court, Tampa

PRICE: $32.5 million

BUYER: MF Coral Cove LLC (principal: William Harkins), Charlotte N.C.


PROPERTY: 1751 Four Mile Cove Parkway, Cape Coral

PRICE: $15.8 million

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Affiliates of Charlotte, N.C.-based Mountain Funding LLC, in conjunction with developer Bill Harkins, purchased the 288-unit Coral Cove in Cape Coral, the 453-unit CrossWynde and 315-unit The Hamptons at Tampa Palms in Tampa from Palm Coast-based Bay Communities for a total of $101.9 million. The purchase also included the 230-unit Polo Glen apartment complex in Plantation.

All four former apartment complexes are being sold as condominiums. Mountain Funding will also act as the project's lender both for the property renovations and as the mortgage broker for condo buyers.

Harkins says the properties will receive extensive facelifts and finishes. The new ownership also plans to offer incentives such as free home owner association dues for two or three years, upgrades, discounted closing costs and more, to attract buyers.

Garrison Partners Consulting will be handling the sales and marketing efforts for the properties. The Continental Group Inc. has been hired to manage the properties.

Units in the 12-building Coral Cove community are being listed from $156,900 and $188,900. Units in CrossWynde, a community of 22 three-story buildings, will range from $106,000 to $183,900, and The Hamptons at Tampa Palms, 53 two-story buildings on 23 acres, is being listed from $121,900 to $242,900.

Mountain Funding is a private lender and investor that provides debt and equity for real estate projects. Mountain Funding's principals are also involved in developing a 1,400-lot project in Riverside County, Calif., and several thousand homes in Florida, Arizona and New Jersey.

All told, the principals of Mountain Funding have been involved in the development and/or financing of more than 10,000 residential lots and homes nationwide.


Investors buy Paddle Creek Center

BUYER: Gladiolus Ventures LLC (principal: Alton Ford), Fort Myers

SELLER: Paddle Creek Shopping Center LLC

PROPERTY: 8750 and 8810 Gladiolus Drive, Fort Myers

PRICE: $4.4 million

PREVIOUS PRICES: $631,800, December 2001 (first parcel) and $50,000, May 2006 (second parcel)

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Thomas G. Eckerty, Esq., Fort Myers

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Dr. Alton Ford, a Fort Myers veterinarian and general contractor/developer Jay Ursoleo purchased the 50,000-square-foot Paddle Creek Shopping Center on Gladiolus Drive for $4.4 million. The center, anchored by a 17,000-square-foot TrueValue Hardware store, was 100% occupied at the time of the sale. The purchase was a long-term investment, according to Jim Garinger, CCIM of Colliers Arnold Commercial Real Estate Services who handled the transaction.

"They do have some plans for some capital improvements to the center to spruces things up," Garinger says. "You'll probably start to see some of the improvements in the next 30 to 60 days."

Rental rates in that area have been increasing, Grainger says, mainly driven by road improvements and a new Sweetbay-anchored shopping center across the street from Paddle Creek.

Cape Coral buyer plans Littleton Road development

BUYER: Littleton 5.6 LLC (principal: Anthony Leeber Jr.), Cape Coral

SELLER: George Vallet Jr. and James Vallet

PROPERTY: 8460 Littleton Road, North Fort Myers

PRICE: $2.3 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $175,000, September 1979 (includes additional parcels)

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Avery, Whigham & Winesett PA, Fort Myers

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Local developer Anthony Leeber purchased 6.22 acres near U.S. 41 and Littleton Road in North Fort Myers behind a Walgreen drug store for $2.3 million.

"Tentatively, he's looking at developing up to 40,000 square feet of retail there," says Leeber's broker David Zorn, the broker for Florida Home Builders Realty. "Right now we're working on the [water] retention. We've got architects that are already preparing the pre-application work."

Zorn says he and the owner are currently in talks with a county entity to occupy 12,000 square feet on the site, but declined to elaborate further until there is a final agreement.

Littleton 5.6 LLC mortgaged the property to TIB Bank for $1.7 million.

Southwest Capital Bank buys Creekside

BUYER: Southwest Capital Bank NA, Fort Myers

SELLER: Cynthia P. Ashby LLC and TAS Riverwalk LLC

PROPERTY: 12670 Creekside Lane, Fort Myers previously known as 8540 College Parkway, Fort Myers

PRICE: $2.99 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $768,700, Sept. 1991

TITLE FIRM ON DEED: Title Group Services, Fort Myers

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Fort Myers-based Southwest Capital Bank NA purchased the first floor of a four-story professional office building on Creekside Lane in Fort Myers from a medical group for about $3 million. The bank plans to use the 12,500-square-foot space as its main branch office and for administrative executive offices.

"We also purchased the naming rights so it's going to be the Southwest Capital Bank Building," says Bruce Schultz, president and CEO of Southwest Capital Bank. "The entire first floor has been gutted, and we are working on completing that [project]. We're also going to develop a drive-in in the parking lot. This is in a high traffic area that is extremely close to the business community in South Fort Myers."

The new office, which will replace an existing branch at 9299 College Parkway, is scheduled to open by the end of the year. The bank will continue to operate its downtown Fort Myers branch on Broadway Avenue.

Schultz says the bank is looking for locations in Cape Coral and North Fort Myers.


• Vanderbilt Bay Construction Inc. of Naples has been selected by Collier County as the general contactor for the Collier County Sheriff's Special Operations Building. This two-story building totals more than 56,000 square feet and will include a helicopter hanger with apron. The structural steel framed building is designed to exceed hurricane codes, allowing the Sheriff's Special Operations Unit to operate under extreme weather conditions. The construction cost of this project is more than $15 million dollars and is scheduled for completion in March of 2008.

• The School Board of Lee County purchased 16 acres at 1725 Gunnery Road N. in Lehigh Acres from Marion Land Co and Alexander Panayotti for $3.38 million. Orville Druckenmiller of Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT and Darius Cochran of the RE/MAX Realty Team handled the transaction.

• Orlando-based National Retail Properties Inc. purchased the Pine Ridge Chevron gas station at 1000 Whippoorwill Lane, Naples from Long Petroleum Products LLC for $4.75 million. National Retail Properties owns, builds and manages single-tenant, net-leased retail properties across the United States.

• John R. Wood, Realtor, and developer the Barron Collier Cos. announced the groundbreaking for the John R. Wood Polaris Center, a Class-A office building at southwest corner of Immokalee and Goodlette Roads within the Creekside Commerce Park. The center is a joint venture of the two firms. The new project will be 53,000 square feet, of which about 17,000 square feet will be used by the Wood firm. Occupancy is scheduled for March 2008.

• Interior design firm, Beasley & Henley Interior Design is working with JMC Communities on JMC's Sandpearl Resort and Spa in Clearwater Beach. Beasley & Henley is currently designing the Five-Star Resort's 11,000-square-foot spa and common areas. The condos at the associated Sandpearl Residences are being listed from $600,000 to $4.4 million.

Beasley & Henley previously worked with JMC Communities on the Bellamy on Bayshore tower in Tampa and the condo development at Belle Harbour, Clearwater. Beasley & Henley designed the Towers three stories of amenity spaces, including all interior design architectural detailing, and corporate suites.

• Sheeley Architects Inc. leased 4,843 square feet on the fourth floor at One University Park in Fort Myers from Earthmark Cos. LLC, to expand its Southwest Florida operations. Sheeley Architects Inc. is one of Southwest Florida's largest full-service commercial architecture firms. Jim Doane of Welsh Companies, LLC, negotiated the transaction.

• Urban Equities LLC purchased a 17,000-square-foot office/warehouse at 2751 Rockfill Road, Fort Myers from Sox Development Inc. for $2.02 million. Todd Holman and Tom Woodyard of Gates D'Alessandro & Woodyard LLC represented the seller. Ronald Kerr of Sperry Van Ness represented the buyer.


Hanover, Metlife buy land for apartments

BUYER: 10420 McKinley Partner LP (principal: HANOVER/METLIFE G.P. LLC), Houston

SELLER: Circle Tampa Ventures LLC

PROPERTY: 10420 McKinley Drive in Tampa Industrial Park

PRICE: $8.24 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $3.15 million, February 2004

LAW FIRM ON DEED: The Hanover Co., Houston

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Houston-based The Hanover Co. and insurance company Metlife Inc. purchased the 27.67-acre site of a former aluminum-can manufacturing plant near the University of South Florida for $8 million. The property was previously owned by the Raleigh, N.C. private equity group Cherokee Investment Partners, who purchased the 230,000-square-foot Ball Corp. plant in early 2004. The plant has sat unused since it's closing in April 1999. The new owner demolished it prior to the contracted sale.

Hanover/Metlife officials did not return calls prior to deadline, but the company previously announced plans for a 460-unit apartment complex.

Hanover develops multi-family residential and mixed-use projects across the county. Currently, the company has a portfolio of 32,000 units worth more than $3.8 billion.

DeBartolo buys new headquarters, moving to Kennedy Boulevard

BUYER: 4401 Real Estate LLC,

SELLER: Fifth Third Bank

PROPERTY: 4401 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa

PRICE: $5.55 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $4.5 million, December 1998

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Akerman Senterfitt, Orlando

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Tampa developer DeBartolo Development purchased a 28,546-square-foot, three-story office building on Kennedy Boulevard in Tampa for $5.55 million. The company plans to renovate and occupy the entire third floor in the building, relocating its headquarters from 14924 N. Florida Ave. The building is being called the DeBartolo Center

"We've just really outgrown our offices," says Shawn Conti, development analyst for DeBartolo. " We're hoping to be in there by the third week in March."

Conti says the company is also negotiating with a potential tenant to lease the 11,125-square-foot second floor.

Asked about other on-going regional developments, Conti says DeBartolo has tabled a proposed retail development on Fruitville Road near Interstate 75 in Sarasota. At the same time, Conti says work is going very well on a 350,000-square-foot regional power center at Big Bend Road and U.S. 41, Riverview. The developer is expected to announce an anchor for the project in the next few months.


• Circle K Stores Inc. purchased two acres at the northwest corner of U.S. Hwy 41 and 19th Avenue in Ruskin from Starker Services Inc. of Ruskin for $1.25 million. Thomas Chamblee of Colliers Arnold Commercial Real Estate Services repented the buyer.

• Stewart Smith purchased 19 acres of vacant land at 5960 Jensen Road in Tampa from 5960 Jensen Land Trust and Jeff Anderson of Tampa for $1.320,000 million. Mark D. McKell, director of Industrial Services for Colliers Arnold Commercial Real Estate Services represented the sellers.

• "Gar" Urette, developer of the Tampa Palms Professional Center, is soliciting public imput for the future restaurants in the development. The full survey is available at

• GVA Advantis has been retained by Professors Capital to handle the leasing and management of the Lakecrest Office Building in Tampa. GVA Advantis will work with Professors Capital, the new owner of the property, to renovate and reposition the building. GVA Advantis had previously leased the Lakecrest Office Building for the former ownership for the past five years. The Lakecrest Office Building is a three-story, multi-tenant, suburban office building with a two-story atrium lobby at 3710 Corporex Park Drive in Corporex Park.

• Trademark Metals Recycling LLC leased a 5,906-square-foot space in Rivergate Tower at 400 North Ashley Drive in Tampa. John Fish and Jim Paladino with Cushman & Wakefield of Florida Inc. negotiated the lease on behalf of the landlord, ACP/Pinnacle LLC.

• C&S Equities of Brandon purchased a 7,500 square foot site at Balm Riverview Office Park on Park Drive at 10841-10867 Park Drive in Riverview from Riverview Property Investors Partnership for $1.04 million. The seller will build a 7,000-square-foot office building on the site for the buyer. Mary Clare Codd and Ron Sparks, both of Colliers Arnold Commercial Real Estate Services, negotiated the transaction.

• Capital Funding Group purchased a 2,924-square-foot office, at 1021 Oakwood St., Tarpon Springs, from Natalya Ordubadi for $275,000. John Skicewicz of Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT Inc. handled the transaction.

• McKibbon Brothers Inc. sold the TownePlace Suites, at 6800 Woodstork Road, Tampa, to James Turner's Homecourt Hospitality-Tampa LLC for $9.8 million. Homecourt Hospitality-Tampa mortgaged the building to Countrywide Commercial Real Estate for $8.3 million.

• Star 999 Development Inc. purchased a 14,172-square-foot retail store, at 6315 Highway 579, Seffner, from RSCG Holdings Inc. Ross Realty Group represented the seller.

• Pioneer Hydraulics leased a 5,491-square-foot industrial space at 12545 44th St. N., Clearwater from Bayside Industrial Park LLC. Carolyn White of the Ross Realty Group represented the lessor.

• Jaylan Enterprises leased 4,672 square feet in the Largo Bazaar at 7210 Ulmerton Road, Largo from Largo Bazaar Inc. Ross Realty Group represented the lessor.

• Tampa's GVA Advantis was retained by Arcis Investments Inc. to exclusively lease three properties in the Tampa Bay area: Belcher Commons, Laurel Place and Magdalene Center.

• GEY Ventures I – Tampa LLC of Tampa purchased 14,800-square-foot office/warehouse building, at 3226 Cherry Palm Drive in Tampa, from Cherry Palm Developers LLC for $1.6 million or $109.84 per square foot. The buyer will lease the building to Wayne Automatic Fire Sprinklers Inc. Jeff Bardin for GVA Advantis represented the seller and Nancy Phaneuf of NPR Development represented the buyer.


Gold Coast/Coke distribution facility sold

BUYER: Lenrock Services LLC as trustee for Lenrock CC-Sarasota DST


PROPERTY: 2150 47th St., Sarasota

PRICE: $8.8 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $7 million, October 2006

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Jenner & Block LLP, Chicago

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: The New York City-based investment management firm Lenrock Real Estate Partners LLC has sponsored a private equity group purchase of the Gold Coast Eagle distribution facility in Sarasota for $8.8 million.

The deal for the 77,500-square-foot facility was financed through funds from Meridian Capital of Boston and 1031 Exchange Options of Walnut Creek, Calif. and a $5.77 million mortgage with Key Bank NA. In order to finance buying the land and construction of a new headquarters in Lakewood Ranch, the Manatee and Sarasota counties Anheuser-Busch/Corona distributor, Gold Coast Eagle, sold the warehouse property to a Wachovia Bank group back in October. Gold Coast Eagle has a deal with Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. to rent the distribution center back until 2008.

"We planning to hold it for a minimum of 10 years," says Joseph Tagliente, president of Lenrock Real Estate Partners. "We were very fortunate that for our inaugural investment we were to do a transaction with a company of such high quality as Coca-Cola."

Gold Coast Eagle is building a 150,000-square-foot center in Lakewood Ranch that will feature 20,000-square-feet of office space, a 7,000-square-foot conference center and a beer garden.

Ontario investor buys North Port land

BUYER: Select Properties of Florida I Inc. (principal: Eddie Tatone), Concord, Ontario, Canada

SELLER: North Port Land Acquisitions LLC

PROPERTY: A portion of Chancellor Boulevard, North Port, and vacant commercial, 14520 Chancellor Blvd., Charlotte County

PRICE: $3.4 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $1.4 million, December 2004

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Porges Hamlin Knowles Prouty Thompson & Najmy PA, Bradenton

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Eddie Tatone, real estate developer, investor, and owner of Select Drywall & Acoustic in Ontario purchased 5.5 acres of vacant commercial land on U.S. 41 and Chancellor Boulevard in North Port straddling the Sarasota and Charlotte counties line.

"Eventually I'm going to develop it," Tatone says. "It's just a prime area because of all the traffic on [U.S.] 41."

Tatone, who owns the 43,500-square-foot retail strip center Englewood Square Shopping Center, says he will likely develop the vacant land as a medium-sized strip center but that the project is likely two to three years away.

Tatone mortgaged the property to the former owner, North Port Land Acquisitions LLC, for $900,000.

Kendar Corp. and Riverpark Grande Inc., the team behind the  redevelopment of the former Riverpark Hotel in Bradenton, have hired SKY Sotheby's International Realty as the broker for the resulting condo/commercial development, Riverpark Grande. Riverpark Grande will feature 40 condominium units, including five penthouses, an outdoor cafe, retail shops, office space and a three story parking garage. The new development is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2008. 

Fifth Third plans new University bank center

BUYER: Fifth Third Bank

SELLER: Randall Benderson and David Baldauf as trustees of the Ronald Benderson 1995 Trust (85%), WR-I Associates Ltd. (15%)

PROPERTY: 2750 and 2736 University Parkway, Sarasota

PRICE: $2.5 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $650,000, July 2003 (included additional parcels)

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Cincinnati, Ohio-based Fifth Third Bank purchased about two acres of land on University Parkway in Sarasota from Benderson Development Co. Inc. for $2.5 million. The bank plans to open a branch bank on the site before the end of the year.

"Sarasota has always been a priority for Fifth Third," says Jama Dock, spokeswoman for the bank. "Right now we are in the permitting process there for a standard banking center." Fifth Third's typical banking center ranges from 3,400 to 3,600 square feet.

As for the location, Dock says being close to University Groves was likely a factor in its selection by the bank as well as traffic counts and the surrounding retail market.


• Lakewood Ranch Realty has kicked off construction on the Lake Osprey Building, a 35,000-square-foot, three-story Class-A office building in Lakewood Ranch Town Center near University Parkway east of the information center. The center is designed by the Lawson Group Architects.


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