The Starling Group has started construction on one of the largest commercial projects to start in the Sarasota Manatee region since the credit crisis first hit in August. The developer has started work on the 76,000-square-foot corporate headquarters for patient-simulator company Medical Education Technologies Inc. in RidgeLake Business Park.
The project will create a new facility designed to handle METI's warehousing, production, shipping, customer service, R&D and office needs. It's divided nearly in half with 36,000 square feet for office space and the remaining 40,000 square feet for warehouse and production.
Fred Starling's development company will construct the FleischmanGarcia-designed tilt-wall building and stay on as landlord. The building is scheduled for completion in December.
The Starling Group is hoping that a secondary benefit of the new fully leased building will be a jump in demand for the final parcel in RidgeLake Business Park. The seven-acre parcel is approved for up to 100,000 square feet of commercial space in the park, which already includes a 45-bed long-term acute care hospital and a 80-bed rehabilitation hospital both operated by HealthSouth. The 40-acre commercial park is located east of the Bee Ridge Road interchange on Interstate 75.
“The is a fantastic project and one of the biggest in the marketplace in a long time,” says Thomas Dyer, vice president of marketing/leasing for Starling Realty Inc. “The biggest selling point for METI was that RidgeLake was just off I-75 on Bee Ridge, which makes it very convenient for the company and its employees.”