A recent real estate sale on Longboat Key —at $12.66 million per acre — may have broken the record for island property values, real estate experts say, according to a story in the Longboat Observer, sister paper of the Business Observer.
The sale, which closed July 24, was Unicorp National Development's purchase of 2.3 acres of recreational property at the former Colony Beach and Tennis Resort, for a total of $29.51 million.
Roger Pettingell, a real estate broker whose firm set the residential volume record on Longboat Key this past year, says this sale “must be by far the record,” according to the Longboat Observer.
“It's definitely underheard of historically speaking,” Pettingell adds. “But it’s completely understandable because this is the final piece of the puzzle that [Unicorp National Developments] is putting together.”
The sale of the recreational property further solidifies Unicorp's position as the developer of a proposed St. Regis Hotel and Residences, a 166-room, 78-condominium at the site of the former Colony, a project approved by the town of Longboat Key in March.
That project, slated for completion in 2021, is estimated to cost $600 million, the developer says.
Unicorp's bid of $29.51 million for the disputed 2.3 acres was successful in the all-or-nothing, court-ordered partition sale. Because the Orlando company already owned 95% of the property, the company will pay investor and Colony unit owner Andy Adams for his 5%, or $1.48 million.
The recreational property includes the old restaurant, delicatessen, swimming pool and tennis courts.
But it’s the future use of the 2.3 acres, not the land or whats on it, that gives the property it’s worth, says William Saba, a longtime local real estate attorney and developer.
“The value of that property is nothing more or less than the value of what you can do with it,” Saba tells the Longboat Observer. “Its use is what makes it very valuable.”