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Commercial Real Estate Briefs

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Commercial Real Estate Briefs

by Sean Roth | Real Estate Editor


MAB Investments relocating to Bee Ridge site

BUYER: MAB Enterprises LLC (Francis Long and James Whatmore), Sarasota

SELLER: Joseph Costello Sr.

PROPERTY: 2704 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota

PRICE: $1.84 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $1.5 million, February 2004

LAW FIRM ON DEED: David D. Bone, attorney, Sarasota

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: MAB Investments, a Sarasota-based firm that provides financial, asset management and other services for affluent families, purchased a two-story, 6,000-square-foot office building on Bee Ridge Road for $1.84 million. The firm plans to occupy half the top floor, about 2,500 square feet, and lease out the remainder of the building.

"That's about 1,000 square feet more than we have now," says James Whatmore, vice president of MAB Investments, of the firm's current leased office space at 1510 South Tuttle. "We're just going through a standard revamp there before we move in. The building we're in is nice, but it was setup more as executive suites, so now we're going to have a dedicated facility just for us. This will definitely be more of a permanent location for us."

The six-employee firm is scheduled to move later this month.

Trustco Bank will continue to lease the bottom floor of the building.

Pacific Tomato Growers

buys Taylor & Fulton buildings

BUYER: Pacific Tomato Growers Ltd. (principals: Harvey Heller, Harry Falk and Joseph, Nathan and Elizabeth Esformes), Palmetto

SELLER: Old Florida Investments Inc. fka Taylor & Fulton Inc.

PROPERTY: 1032, 1038, 1042, 1040, 1036, 1034, 1000, 1030, 1028, 1026, 1024, 1022, 1020, 1018, 1016, 1014, 1012, 1010, 1008, 1006, 1004 and 1002 First Ave. Court W. and, Palmetto

PRICE: $1.9 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $525,000, September 1986

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Hamrick Perrey Quinlan & Smith PA, Bradenton

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Pacific Tomato Growers purchased several residential multi-family buildings on First Avenue Court West in Palmetto for $1.9 million. Pacific Tomato Growers chief executive Billy Heller Jr. declined to elaborate on the purchase, except to say that the use will not change.

The fruit/vegetable farming firm and packer grew 14.4% in gross revenue from 2006 to 2007 from $139 million to $159 million.

Pennsylvania mover buys

University storage building

BUYER: Dac Realty (principal: David Caruso), Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

SELLER: Adam Bauman as Chapter 11 Trustee for the Bankruptcy Estate of Davi & Valenti Movers Inc.

PROPERTY: 1755 W. University Parkway, Sarasota

PRICE: $1.86 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $560,000, October 1995

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Jerrel E. Towery PA, Venice

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Dac Realty, a company owned by David Caruso of Wilkes-Barre, Pa.-based Ace Moving & Storage Corp., purchased a Davi & Valenti storage building on University Parkway from the bankrupt firm - which is now a division of Wheaton Worldwide - for $1.86 million. According to the research firm CoStar Group, the 28,440-square-foot industrial building was built in 1996 and sits on 3.5 acres. Calls to Caruso were not returned.

Dac Realty mortgaged the building and land to Colonial Bank NA for $3.17 million.


• Sarasota County is beginning construction on stormwater work to relieve flooding in the Little Five Points area of downtown Sarasota. The $913,300-project, scheduled for completion in November, is designed to improve stormwater pipes and street drainage along Orange Avenue, Oak Street, Pineapple Avenue and Alderman Street. In addition, a water quality inlet baffle box will be installed to reduce pollution flowing into Sarasota Bay. Funding for the project is provided through a Southwest Florida Water Management District cooperative grant and Hudson Bayou Basin stormwater assessments.

• Wendemen Construction, Inc., a division of Sarasota-based Wendemen Group Inc., has been awarded the contract to expand the campus of Bible Baptist Church of Bradenton. Bible Baptist Church is located at 2113 Morgan Johnson Road in Bradenton. The first phase of the 18,736-square-foot expansion project includes a new sanctuary, office and classroom space and it's scheduled for completion by next April.

Wendemen Group Inc., formerly the FMO Cos. is a general contractor and civil engineering firm.

• A Guerlain Spa Boutique will be included in Lion's Gate Development's planned Waldorf-Astoria hotel for downtown Sarasota, part of $1 billion project known as the Proscenium. The Sarasota deal will not be the first partnership between Guerlain and the Waldorf-Astoria brand. The Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan opened a Guerlain Spa Boutique in its main lobby in December and will debut its first Guerlain Spa in September, occupying much of the 19th floor in the New York City landmark hotel. Plans are to include the spas exclusively in other Waldorf-Astoria Collection Hotels. Spa Chakra Inc. will develop and manage the spa.

• Sarasota's Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate reports it maintained its lead as the top real estate brokerage in Florida, according to the REAL Trends 500. Following that report, if Florida-based Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate's sales volume were ranked independently of parent company, NRT, Coldwell Banker would rank sixth in the nation in sales volume with $11.25 billion. Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Sarasota Bay (Sarasota and Manatee Counties) recorded more than $1.1 billion in closed sales volume.


Investors pay $11.5 million

for Bank of Florida Center

BUYER: Naples 9 LLC, Livonia (Gary Price and Joseph Boyle), Mich.

SELLER: Citizens Reserve LLC

PROPERTY: 1185 Immokalee Road, Naples

PRICE: $11.5 million

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Wilson & Johnson LLP, Naples

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Dr. Gary Price of Fort Myers and Joseph Boyle, of the industrial real estate investment firm Midway Corp. in Livonia, Mich., purchased the 36,000-square-foot Bank of Florida Center in Naples for $11.5 million. Bancshares of Florida is the building's primary tenant. The new ownership has no plans to make changes to the building and Bancshares of Florida has agreed to a long-term lease.

"It was a good looking building and I liked the tenant," Boyle says.

The Midway Corp. owns and operates a portfolio of industrial properties.

The new owners, who went by Naples 9 LLC for the purchase, mortgaged the building to Bank of Florida-Southwest for $9.2 million.

Punta Gorda building

leased for urgent care center

BUYER: Seminole Lakes Plaza LLC (principal: Zia Butt), North Port

SELLER: Semlak Lot 1 LLC

PROPERTY: 10169 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda

PRICE: $1.8 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $195,000, August 2006

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Rosensteel & Beckmann LLC, New York City

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Seminole Lakes Plaza LLC, a company, headed by North Port retirement home operator/owner Zia Butt, purchased a 9,200-square-foot single-story retail building on Tamiami Trail in Punta Gorda for $1.8 million. Butt plans to lease the new building, located next to a Sweetbay Supermarket-anchored retail development, to a health care operator for an urgent care center.

"They should take at least three-fourths of the building," Butt says. "For me really this was just an investment property. I liked that it was on [U.S.] 41 next to an active Sweetbay. It was also a brand new building and a very attractive building."

Butt's North Port Retirement Center Inc. owns and operates North Port Pines, Gardens of North Port and Sandhill Gardens.

Butt says he is looking at additional buildings from Tampa to Naples to house additional urgent care facilities, focusing on southern Sarasota County and Charlotte County.

Deltona Corp. increases

Cape Coral holdings

BUYER: The Deltona Corp., Ocala

SELLER: Contrarian Equities LLC

PROPERTY: 159 home lots in Cape Coral

PRICE: $1.09 million

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Exceptional Title & Escrow Services LLC, Port Charlotte

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: The Deltona Corp., an Ocala-based residential developer, has continued to expand in Cape Coral. The firm purchased 159 home lots in Cape Coral from Contrarian Equities LLC for $1.09 million, or an average of $6,835 a lot. The purchase was Deltona Corp.'s second acquisition from Contrarian in as many months. In the earlier deal, which closed on March 4, Deltona purchased 112 home lots for $1.79 million, or an average of $15,982 per lot. In November the developer paid $16.24 million for 812 parcels in Cape Coral from K. Hovnanian First Homes, a price that equaled $20,000 a lot. Deltona has also made a number of smaller price acquisitions over the past six months.

Beth Fisher, manager of the Marion Oaks office of Deltona Corp., says the company continues to believe that by bargain-buying now, it will be well positioned for the residential market turnaround, whenever it happens.

The Deltona Corp. previously developed Deltona Lakes, Spring Hill, Citrus Springs, St. Augustine Shores, Marco Island, Pine Ridge, Seminole Woods, Tierra Verde and Sunny Hills.



Naples-based development team MDG Downtown Partners has completed construction on First Street Center. Located at the corner of Lee and First Streets, the building was renovated by Bonita Springs-based Heatherwood Construction Co. It features a mix of retail and office uses.

The 33,000-square-foot building features 15 units ranging in size from 1,000 to 7,000 square feet. Prices range from $210 to $260 a square foot. The units can also be leased for $16 per square foot on a triple net basis. Coni Dean of Colonial Square Realty Inc. is handling marketing of First Street Center.

Locally, MDG Capital is also developing Promenade at The Forum, a 402-unit community in Fort Myers and Arrowhead Reserve, a 1,245-unit community in Immokalee. MDG Capital recently completed two office properties: Orion Bank Center and The TIB Bank Center in Naples.


• Florida Mail and Print Solutions LLC leased 5,625 square feet of space at 6410 Arc Way in Fort Myers from Adridan International LLP. Enn Luthringer of CB Richard Ellis Fort Myers-Naples brokered the transaction.

• J.L. Wallace Inc. has started construction on Stroemer & Co.'s new corporate headquarters, at 14030 Metropolis Ave. in Fort Myers. The full-service CPA/business consulting firm will occupy the second floor of the 17,000-square-foot building, and the first floor will be offered for lease.

• JBH Behavioral Health Systems leased 2,950 square feet of space in the New Brittany Corporate Center at 12550 New Brittany Boulevard in Fort Myers, from Winfield Partners III LLC. Enn Luthringer of CB Richard Ellis Fort Myers-Naples represented the landlord, and Real Estate Investment Services represented the tenant.

• T. Mark Dragich and Vickie M. Dragich, co-trustees of the Dragich Revocable Trust, purchased a 2,036-square-foot industrial/warehouse condominium at 12960 Commerce Lakes Dr., A-16 in Fort Myers from Daniels Industrial Condo Ltd. Cathleen Jacobson of Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT represented the buyer, and Jeff Rosenblatt, JRL Realty & Management represented the seller.

• Fort Myers-based Stevens Construction Inc. has completed construction of Florida Gulf Bank in the Coconut Point Mall complex, located at the corner of Coconut Road and U.S. Route 41 in Estero.

• The Lutgert Cos. announced the addition of Merrill Lynch to The Mercato in Naples. The financial management and advisory firm will occupy 17,000 square feet of office space in a professional office building. The structure is under construction and expected to open in early 2009.

• MH Williams Construction Group Inc. awarded Fort Myers-based Eagle Concrete Systems a contract to complete concrete work for Infiniti of Fort Myers, a new automobile dealership located at the intersection of U.S. 41 and Gladiolus Drive in South Fort Myers.

Eagle Concrete Systems will provide concrete pads, footing, slab and tilt walls for the 35,700-square-foot building. HADP Architecture Inc. provided the design.

• The law firm of Fowler White Boggs Banker has expanded and now occupies its entire 15,000-square-foot building at 2235 First St., Fort Myers. The firm recently renovated and occupied the building's third floor.

• Fort Myers-based Vanasse & Daylor LLP was awarded a three-year contract to provide transportation planning & traffic engineering services for the City of Fort Myers.

• Seven Isles Development LLC leased 2,973 square feet of office space at 999 Vanderbilt Beach Road, suite 1000 from FTC Naples LLC. Clint Sherwood of Investment Properties Corp. negotiated the transaction.

• The Fort Myers division of Orlando-based Tri-City Electrical Contractors Inc. completed $1.2 million of work as part of the renovation of floors two through 10 at the 11-story Marco Marriott North Tower in Marco Island. John Hardy Group Inc. was the owner's project manager.

• Fort Myers-based J.L. Wallace Inc. has begun construction on a 4,279-square-foot SunTrust Bank at Gulf Coast Town Center at 17100 Ben Hill Griffin Parkway in Fort Myers. Robert Reid Wedding Architects & Planners Inc. provided the architectural design services. The project is scheduled for completion in July.

• Currier Roofing Co. Inc. purchased an 8,276-square-foot industrial building and land at 5802 Corporation Circle, Fort Myers, from Nicholas and Marisa Groff for $900,000. Stan Stouder of CB Richard Ellis represented the seller, and Randy Zavada of Re/Max Realty Group represented the buyer. The property will house Currier Roofing and Adler Roofing.

• Nurse On Call Inc. leased 3,329 square feet of space at 8771 College Parkway, building I, in Fort Myers from Medsup Development LLC. Randal L. Mercer of CB Richard Ellis Fort Myers-Naples represented the landlord, and Brian M. Lightle of Lightle Commercial Inc. represented the tenant.

• Benderson Development awarded Fort Myers-based Eagle Concrete Systems a contract to complete concrete and masonry work for Colonial Square Building 4B, a retail facility at the intersection of Colonial Boulevard and Six Mile Cypress Parkway in Fort Myers. Eagle Concrete will provide the structure's concrete pads, footing, slab and walls.

• with pic

Fort Myers-based Owen-Ames-Kimball Co. has completed construction of the Southwest Florida Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The memorial is located at the foot of the Fort Myers side of the Veterans Memorial Bridge. Construction at the site included a brick and concrete path leading to three vertical concrete walls, over which granite panels engraved with the names of local veterans have been placed. A bronze field cross was positioned in front of the three granite panels.

OAK, the architectural firm of Gora McGahey, donated their services for the project, as did several subcontractors and construction materials.

• Songy Partners opened a three-story, 60,000-square-foot office building at 9160 Forum Corporate Parkway in the Forum Corporate Park. The building's first tenant, Rasmussen College Inc., obtained its certificate of occupancy and is set to open its facilities this month. Rasmussen College signed a 10-year lease on 18,216 square feet of space.

The first building is one of seven office buildings planned for the 42-acre parcel that faces Interstate 75. The Forum Office Park is part of The Forum at Fort Myers, a 700-acre mixed-use development.


Hilltop Center sells for $3 million

BUYER: Hilltop Center LLC (principals: Dilip and Veenu Wadhwani), Tampa

SELLER: Famous Tate New Port Richey LLC

PROPERTY: 9310, 9312, 9314, 9316, 9318,9322, 9324, 9324, 9326, 9328, 9330, 9332, 9334, 9336, 9338, 9340, 9342 and 9344 Little Road, New Port Richey

PRICE: $3.07 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $575,000, September 2003

TITLE FIRM ON DEED: Westchase Title LLC, Tampa

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Dilip and Veenu Wadhwani's Hilltop Center LLC purchased the two-building, 27,000-square-foot Hilltop Center retail facility in Hudson for $3.07 million - equivalent to $113.70 a square foot. Famous Tate developed the two buildings in 2006 with the goal of eventually opening one of its appliance/mattress stores. However, the retailer eventually decided to sell off the center, Famous Tate controller Ron Hawkins says, because of concerns that the New Port Richey location might siphon off too many consumers from its nearby existing Port Richey store at U.S. 19 and Grand Boulevard.

The 7,500-square-foot smaller building houses Sunshine Preschool. The larger building features tenants such as H&R Block, Hilltop Cafe, Tips and Toes Salon and a massage therapy clinic. The larger building had four unit vacancies at the time of the sale, 35% of the building.

The Wadhwanies are best known as the owners of Seven Hills Business Park in Tampa. Calls to the couple were not returned.

Tri-Tech Inc. acquires

Tampa West building

BUYER: Air-Tech Properties West Tampa LLC, Tampa

SELLER: CRS Industries Inc.

PROPERTY: 5249 Tampa West Blvd., Tampa

PRICE: $1.74 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $1.28 million, December 1995

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Carlton Fields PA, Tampa

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Tampa specialty gas firm Tri-Tech Inc. purchased a 32,000-square-foot industrial building in the Tampa West Industrial Park for $1.74 million. Tri-Tech, which supplies gas and related supplies for industrial and medical users, previously leased the bottom floor of the building. According to the real estate research firm CoStar Group, the 32,000-square-foot building was built in 1986 and sits on one acre.

The company operates 12 branch offices in Florida, a main office and a specialty gas laboratory and fill plant.

Tri-Tech's purchase entity Air-Tech Properties West Tampa LLC mortgaged the building to Bank of America for $1.49 million.

Healthy Vision buys

Eye Institute building

BUYER: Healthy Vision Property LLC (principal: James Powers), Dunedin

SELLER: Eye Institute LLC

PROPERTY: 5413 U.S. 19, New Port Richey

PRICE: $1.09 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $1 million, June 2006

TITLE FIRM ON DEED: A Clear Title Co. of the Glades LLC, Labelle

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Dr. James Powers' Healthy Vision Ophthalmology in Dunedin purchased a 8,048-square-foot office building in New Port Richey for $1.09 million. The Eye Institute previously occupied the building.

Calls to Powers and Healthy Vision were not returned. According to marketing material for the building, the 1.7-acre property, located next to the 250,000-square-foot Southgate Shopping Center, has enough land to accommodate a future a second building.

The new owner, Healthy Vision Property LLC, mortgaged the property to Northern Trust Bank for $1 million.


• The Sembler Co.'s build-to-suit division just completed its first Goodwill Superstore in Spring Hill at the intersection of U.S. 19 and Berkeley Manor Boulevard. The 25,872-square-foot store is set to open on April 19. The project, which began in October of last year, marks the first of three stores that Sembler will build for Goodwill Industries-Suncoast Inc. as part of Goodwill's planned $21-million retail expansion.

Goodwill hired The Sembler Co. to manage the 2007-09 development of the signature superstores. The stores were designed by Tampa architects Lyman Davidson Dooley Inc., and built by Hawkins Construction of Tarpon Springs.

• Ryland Homes in Tampa is relocating its division headquarters and new home design center from Pine Avenue North in Oldsmar to 9426 Camden Field Parkway near U.S. 301 and I-75 in Riverview. Joe Fontana, president of Ryland Homes in the Tampa Bay region, said the move will take place in August.

• Park Edge Enterprises Inc. purchased a former gas station at 4756 N. Dale Mabry Highway, in Tampa from Motiva Enterprises LLC for $710,000. Brent Lindsey of Grubb & Ellis Commercial Florida represented the seller.

• Monster Golf agreed to lease 10,172 square feet of retail space at Vanderbilt Square at 6429 U.S. 19, New Port Richey from Tarpon Springs-based Vanderbilt Commercial Group. Michelle Seifert and Josh Tarkow of Grubb & Ellis| Commercial Florida represented the landlord.

• The Internet Room, Inc. leased 3,360 square feet from St. Petersburg-based All Star at Tarpon Olympic Plaza in Tarpon Springs. Michelle Seifert and Josh Tarkow in Grubb & Ellis Commercial Florida's Retail Group represented the landlord.

• Q-Spa leased 2,380 square feet from St. Petersburg-based All Star at Tarpon Olympic Plaza in Tarpon Springs. Michelle Seifert and Josh Tarkow in Grubb & Ellis Commercial Florida's Retail Group represented the landlord.

• St. Petersburg-based Hennessy Construction Services has completed the Hazel Hough Wing at the Museum of Fine Arts, 255 Beach Drive N.E., St. Petersburg. The 35,800-square-foot addition is connected to the original museum through a 5,600-square-foot conservatory. The project also included 45,000 square feet of renovations to the existing facility. HOK Architecture of Tampa designed the improvements. The contract value of the project was $16.47 million.

• Hennessy Construction Services completed the Woodland Corporate Center at 4631 Woodland Corporate Blvd. in Tampa for Liberty Property Trust. Horton, Harley and Carter Inc. of Tampa designed the building. The contract value of the project was $8.17 million.

• Hennessy Construction Services completed the Spa Oceana at the Don Cesar Beach Resort, 3400 Gulf Boulevard, St. Pete Beach. The 22,000-square-foot spa includes a ground floor entrance arcade, two floors of salon space, wet/dry treatment rooms, locker rooms, Jacuzzis and steam rooms and a roof top garden/sun deck. FleischmanGarcia Architecture of Tampa was the architect for the project. The contract value of the project was $7.89 million.

• Hennessy Construction Services completed the Jamestown Apartments Phase 1 redevelopment at 1200-1201 Third Terrace North in St. Petersburg. The project included demolition of three existing buildings to create 21 new public housing units for $4.1 million.


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