Commercial real estate broker Clint Conway has added a new job title: developer.
Conway, with Sperry Van Ness Commercial Advisory Group in Sarasota, started out relatively small with a $900,000 investment in a Starbucks on Clark Road in Sarasota. (See Business Observer, Nov. 22) But he has big plans for the future.
“This is the game I'm in,” Conway tells Coffee Talk. “This is what I eat and sleep. It's my passion.”
Conway has been in commercial real estate, working from Fort Myers to Sarasota, since 2007. He had the opportunity to list a KFC restaurant location in Sarasota earlier this year. But instead of listing the 2,712-square-foot restaurant, he bought it. Conway paid $899,000 for the building and signed a deal with Starbucks to convert it into a location for the coffee chain.
Conway has developed some relationships with Starbucks real estate location executives over the past few years, and he knew they sought a spot in that general area. The price was good, says Conway, so he made his first developer-led deal. He says the Starbucks, with an atrium and a drive-thru, should be pouring coffee by February.
Conway, meanwhile, expects to do more deals on the developer side next year. He says the commercial real estate market, while not bustling, is active and he sees no slow down in the near future. Says Conway: “I'm excited to get into the developer realm.”