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Vengroff buys Sarasota Airport Hotel, converting to affordable apartment

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  • | 10:00 a.m. September 12, 2014
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  • Manatee-Sarasota
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BUYER: Oakridge LL LLC (principal: Harvey Vengroff), Sarasota
SELLER: Welcome Hospitality of Sarasota LLC
PROPERTY: 4900 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
PRICE: $2.25 million
PREVIOUS PRICE: $3.5 million, June 2005

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Wallack Law Firm, Sarasota

Sarasota businessman Harvey Vengroff purchased the 117-unit Sarasota Airport Hotel for $2.25 million.

The price equated to $19,231 per unit.

Vengroff is converting the motel rooms into affordable studio apartment units. He plans to offer the units to low-income families as an alternative to a shelter or homelessness. He is working with local charities, such as the Salvation Army and the Jewish Family & Children's Service of Suncoast Inc., to find renters who have the best chance of using the lower-cost housing to move out of poverty.

“It's going to need a lot of improvements before people are going to want to live there,” Vengroff says. “We plan to start renting them out in a couple of weeks. We're try to create a situation for [the renters] where they can work together on things such as childcare. They watch each other's kids when they aren't at work. We also make sure they go to work.”

The affordable-housing model is similar to Vengroff's 100-unit University Row Apartments at 8440 N. Tamiami Trail. The apartments do not participate in federal, state or local government affordability programs.

Vengroff expects to charge $575 a month per unit, which includes electric and water service. The apartment will feature nighttime security and won't tolerate abusive drinking and drug use, he says.

The purchase entity, Oakridge LL LLC, mortgaged the property to the seller, Welcome Hospitality of Sarasota LLC, for $1.65 million.


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