Meridian Development Group likely had a busier December than most, because it sold a pair of major Gulf Coast commercial properties for a combined $67.25 million.
Early in the month, the Tampa-based company sold a former Winn-Dixie distribution center in Sarasota to a Canadian real estate investment trust, and then followed it two weeks later with the sale of a Tampa office park for $14.75 million.
Meridian had owned Meridian Premier Center since paying $8.2 million for the three-building complex in August 2014.
During its ownership, Meridian spent roughly $1 million to demolish a 42,000-square-foot office building and increase parking within Premier Center.
“Savvy businesses are filling less space with more employees, making the need for adequate parking greater than ever,” says Steven Kossoff, Meridian's managing director.
The enhanced parking — to six spots per 1,000 square feet, higher than typical office averages — helped the company boost occupancy from 50% to 97% prior to Premier Center's sale to Worldwide Investments, a company controlled by local investor Tom Frederick.
The sale of the 103,521-square-foot Carrollwood complex, on 12.3 acres, was brokered by Cushman & Wakefield's Tampa-based capital markets team of Mike Davis, Rick Brugge and Michael Lerner.
Meridian Distribution Center, in Sarasota, was purchased by Toronto-based Agellan Commercial Real Estate Investment Trust, which was drawn to the fully occupied center's cash flow and refrigerated space, and to nine undeveloped acres on the property.
Meridian had owned that 60-acre, 907,237-square-foot property since buying it for $30 million in 2006.