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Top commercial real estate deals for 2018 in Tampa Bay

A high-end resort topped the list of commercial real estate sales in the Tampa Bay area in 2018.

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  • | 6:00 a.m. December 28, 2018
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Courtesy. A group controlled by Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Co-Chairman Bryan Glazer acquired The Vinoy in 2018.
Courtesy. A group controlled by Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Co-Chairman Bryan Glazer acquired The Vinoy in 2018.
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For the second consecutive year, the top commercial real estate sale in the Tampa Bay area in 2018 belonged to an iconic lodging property.

But the August deal for the famed Vinoy Renaissance wasn’t the only transaction of note to occur over the past 12 months.

The region also saw a pair of high-profile office deals, involving a downtown property and another in the suburban Westshore business district. Those sales echoed previous years. In both 2015 and 2016, office transactions dominated the top five list in the submarket.

Apartments, too, were a large part of the commercial real estate landscape throughout the Gulf Coast, and the Tampa Bay area was no exception. Two large-scale multifamily rental properties, one in downtown St. Petersburg and the other in the aforementioned Westshore area, rounded out the top five sales in the area.

For the fourth year in a row, as well, the Tampa Bay area’s overall dollar volume of sales remained steady as compared with 2015, 2016, 2017. In all, the top five transactions generated volume of $656 million, on par with 2017’s figure of $623.25 million and only slightly ahead of the other two years.


  1. Vinoy Renaissance Resort & Golf Club: $180 million

SCG Hospitality LLC, a company led by Tampa Bay Buccaneers Co-Chairman Bryan Glazer, acquired the Vinoy Renaissance in downtown St. Petersburg in August.

The 362-room lodging property, which also contains a 74-slip marina, an 18-hole golf course and 60,000 square feet of meeting space, had been owned since 2007 by FelCor Lodging Trust.

RLJ Lodging Trust, which acquired FelCor in a $1 billion merger in August 2017, indicated it wanted to sell the resort because it didn’t align with the balance of its portfolio. Commercial real estate brokerage HFF represented RLJ in the transaction.

SCG is expected to complete work on an ongoing $50 million enhancement to the 93-year-old hotel, and has retained Tampa hotel consultancy The Plasencia Group to outline a capital program going forward.

Despite the sale, the 501 Fifth Ave. NE hotel will continue to be managed by Marriott International Inc.


  1. Urban Centre I and II: $143.1 million

Starwood Capital Group finalized its purchase of the two-building Urban Centre office complex in Tampa’s Westshore business district in March.

The Miami-based investment giant acquired the two nine-story office buildings, at 4830-4890 W. Kennedy Blvd., from Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association.

Teachers Insurance had owned the 576,000-square-foot buildings since paying $105.5 million for them in 2005.

Commercial real estate brokerage firm JLL represented Teachers Insurance in the transaction.

The sale represented the largest office transaction in the Tampa Bay area since December 2015, when the 42-story Bank of America Plaza in downtown Tampa sold for $193.5 million.


  1. Camden Pier District: $126.3 million

Houston-based Camden Property Trust bought the 18-story AER Apartments in downtown St. Petersburg in the largest multifamily deal along the Gulf Coast in 2018.

The deal also kicked off a wave of major St. Petersburg multifamily rental transactions, including sales of the Fusion 1560 apartments and the Reserve at Gateway.

Completed in 2017 at 330 Third St. South, the Camden Pier District contains 358 units, ground-floor retail space and an adjacent five-level parking garage.

In buying the residential tower, Camden Property officials indicated that the property would generate a 5% yield after stabilization.

Company officials also noted that the deal was completed for what it considers 10% below replacement costs.


  1. Tampa City Center: $110 million

Banyan Street Capital and Oaktree Capital Management, of Los Angeles, closed on the acquisition of the 38-story Tampa City Center in mid-October.

The deal for the 37-year-old building brought to three the number of office towers the Miami-based Banyan Street owns in downtown Tampa, along with the Bank of America Plaza and Rivergate Tower.

The pair acquired the building from Alliance Partners HSP, of Pennsylvania, which had purchased it in 2014 for $128.1 million. As part of the deal, Alliance Partners retained he land under the 201 N. Franklin St., building, subject to a ground lease with Banyan Street.

Commercial real estate brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield represented Alliance Partners in the transaction.

The 757,425-square-foot tower is occupied by tenants such as PNC Bank, Ernst & Young, Deloitte, Masonite, law firm Morgan & Morgan, General Electric subsidiary FieldCore and developer Ryan Cos. USA, among others.


  1. Cove Apartments: $96.5 million

Gamma Real Estate of New York added the Cove Apartments, in Tampa’s Westshore district, to its portfolio in May.

 The 690-unit waterfront complex, at 4003 S. Westshore Blvd., was completed in 1979 and units have since been fully renovated and updated.

Gamma acquired the property from Laramar Properties, which had owned it for four years in the wake of its own $53 million purchase.

The property contains a plethora of standard amenities, including three swimming pools, a poolside fitness center and kayak launch.

In addition to its Cove Apartments acquisition, Gamma in Florida also owns apartment complexes in Orlando and Jacksonville, according to its website.


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