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Fort Myers Beach's future questioned as another hotel property sells

In the week's top commercial real estate news, a St. Pete luxury high rise nears $150 million in sales, a Naples storage facility sells, and the owner of a former Sarasota mall looks to rezone.

  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 5:00 a.m. August 6, 2023
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Pulte Homes has bought 57.07 acres of property in North Fort Myers.
Pulte Homes has bought 57.07 acres of property in North Fort Myers.
Courtesy photo
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Naples/Fort Myers

The times they are a changin': London Bay Development has bought the Outrigger Beach Resort and Charley’s Boathouse Grill on Fort Myers Beach. The Naples developer, which began construction on the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Estero Bay last month, paid $38.2 million for the property according to Lee County court records. Both the Outrigger and Charley’s were destroyed during Hurricane Ian. London Bay has not announced what it is doing with the 10-acre parcel along Estero Boulevard, but its CEO Mark Wilson says in a statement that the company understands the two businesses “were beloved institutions on the island and are committed to honoring their legacy while creating an elevated experience for Fort Myers Beach residents and visitors alike.” Since Ian devastated the island last year, there has been a fear among longtime residents and visitors that the character of the beach community will change as developers buy up properties and replace classic “old Florida” hotels with high rise and high dollar developments. The Outrigger first opened in 1968. Wilson says in the statement that residents and local businesses “will have ample opportunities to provide feedback throughout this process.”

Moving on up: Jim’s Stowaway, a Naples self-storage facility at 3257 Radio Road, has been sold. The buyer is a New York investment firm that is renaming it Storage King USA. Andover Properties, the buyer, would not disclose a sale price and county records had not been updated as of Aug. 3. Along with 600 storage units, the property includes two retail storefronts occupied by Napa Auto Parts and KC Marble & Tile Andover. Andover, which has an office in Miami, owns property across the country and focuses on what it calls alternative asset classes — self storage, manufactured housing, RV parks and car washes. Its Storage King brand operates 158 facilities in 18 states. Of those, 42 are in Florida, including one at 3405 Radio Road just shy of two miles west of the new location. It also has several other local locations in Sarasota, Fort Myers, Zephyrhills, Lakeland and Polk City.

More housing: Pulte Homes has bought 57.07 acres of property in North Fort Myers. It paid $3.8 million, according to the commercial real estate firm LSI Cos., which brokered the deal and announced the sale. The residential property is at 7401 Bayshore Blvd., near Interstate 75 and Encore Pioneer Village. The seller was Theta Investments NV, a Miami company. Pulte did not respond to questions about its plans for the property. 

Tampa/St. Petersburg

A 15,813-square-foot flex building in Pinellas Park’s Gateway District has sold.
Courtesy photo

Pinellas parcel: A 15,813-square-foot flex building in Pinellas Park’s Gateway District has sold. The building at 3634 131st Ave. N., just off of Ulmerton Road, brought $2.2 million. The buyer is an LLC with a Largo address. Bridgewater Commercial Real Estate, the listing broker, says the property has 3,750 square feet of office space and a mezzanine. Colman Rental Properties was the seller. In addition to the flex building, Bridgewater sold an apartment complex in St. Petersburg. The eight-unit property at 7027 Fourth Ave. N. sold for $1.2 million to a local LLC named Bizlift. Six of the units have had kitchens and bathrooms renovated. The property was previously owned by a Gulfport investor. 

Crews for Costal Construction have poured the foundation for Art House St. Petersburg, the latest luxury condominium tower going up in downtown St. Petersburg.
Courtesy photo

Foundational: Crews for Coastal Construction have poured the foundation for Art House St. Petersburg, the latest luxury condominium tower going up in downtown St. Petersburg. Workers spent 18 hours pouring 3,132 cubic yard of concrete. The job required 65 cement trucks. The 244-unit, 42-story building is being developed by Kolter Urban out of Delray Beach. The developer is behind several large-scale projects in the works in the region, among them the 42-story One Tampa building and the 20-story Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota Bay. Art House’s units will range from 1,380 square feet to 2,637 square feet and the building will have 12 penthouses on the top three floors. Prices start at $1 million and sale are approaching $150 million a spokesperson says. Construction is expected to be completed by late next year. 


A lot of lattes: A recently opened Starbucks in Venice has sold. The coffee shop at 19451 Times Circle was sold for $3.1 million according to county property records. The buyer is an LLC named Psalm 91 which, according to the state’s Division of Corporation’s database, is managed by another biblically themed LLC, Romans 828. The latter’s principal address in state records is listed as being in the Palm Beach County village of Tequesta. The Starbucks opened last year and is off of Jacaranda Boulevard, between Tractor Supply Co. and Hyundai of Venice. The seller was a local LLC named Jacaranda Junction IV.

At a crossroads: Benderson Development is taking the first steps in its plan to redevelop the Crossings at Siesta Key. According to the Sarasota Observer, a sister paper of the Business Observer, the Manatee County developer is seeking a comprehensive plan amendment and subsequent zoning text amendments to change the zoning for the 35-acre property to the city’s new Urban Mixed-Use future land use classification. This classification is a “new urbanism concept of mixing of residential and commercial uses to create a self-contained, walkable community,” according to the Observer. At a July 25 community meeting, the paper reports company officials told attendees that there are no immediate development plans, but if the city supported the reclassification it would take two decades or more to complete a redevelopment that would include a residential base density of 25 units per acre — 35 units should it include an affordable housing component. Benderson bought the 439,958-square-foot mall on U.S. 41 last year for $25.1 million.

If you have news, notes or tips you want to pass along, contact [email protected]. Or you can text or call 727-371-6944.



Louis Llovio

Louis Llovio is the deputy managing editor at the Business Observer. Before going to work at the Observer, the longtime business writer worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Maryland Daily Record and for the Baltimore Sun Media Group. He lives in Tampa.

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