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News & Notes

The week brought hotel sale, bookstore news, Publix-anchored shopping center sale

A look at some of the week’s commercial real estate happenings across the region, from drug stores to baseball.

  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 5:00 a.m. January 15, 2023
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
A recently completed Hillsborough County shopping center anchored by a Publix Super Market has sold to Fairway Investments, an Alabama-based investment firm.
A recently completed Hillsborough County shopping center anchored by a Publix Super Market has sold to Fairway Investments, an Alabama-based investment firm.
Courtesy photo
  • Commercial Real Estate
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Naples/Fort Myers

Lay your head: The Comfort Inn & Suites Fort Myers Airport, a 90-room hotel just off Daniels Parkway in Fort Myers, has been sold. To whom and for how much is not known. The firm behind the sale, DSH Hotel Acquisitions, didn’t respond to an email seeking the name of the buyer or the sale price and Lee County property records haven’t been updated. DSH says it marketed the property “confidentially” and that a contract was in place within 60 days. The undisclosed — for now — Florida buyer paid cash.  

Showcase showdown: At a time when home sales are slumping, Pulte Homes is aiming to turn things around. The Atlanta homebuilder is hosting a series of events at four of its Southwest Florida communities — Sawgrass at Coral Lakes in Cape Coral; Del Webb Oak Creek in North Fort Myers; and Sonoma Oaks and Terreno in Naples — between Jan. 21 and Feb. 11 to introduce 12 new models. To get people, i.e. potential buyers, in the door, Pulte is offering tours, free food truck fare and other giveaways at the events.

Tampa/St. Petersburg

Decision day: Nearly a year after taking office and overturning a decision by his predecessor, St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch is set to announce his choice to redevelop the 86-acre Tropicana Field site. 

Welch is scheduled to let the public know about his decision at his state-of-the-city address Jan. 30. There are four development groups vying for the right to redevelop the site, once the home of the historically black Gas Plant neighborhood. Welch’s decision could seal the fate of the Tampa Bay Rays’ life in the city. The team has a lease on Tropicana Field until 2027 and has been actively — frantically — looking for where to build a new stadium locally. If a site isn’t found soon, the team, which has an abysmal attendance record in St. Petersburg, could move out of the area entirely. One of the four proposals got a big boost Jan. 14 when the city’s chamber of commerce published an op-ed in the Tampa Bay Times supporting a plan submitted by the Rays and development partner Hines. That plan includes housing, retail, community space and a stadium.

In the books: Barnes & Noble is closing one of its two stores on Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa. The one shutting down is at 213 N. Dale Mabry, just a few hundred feet north of Kennedy Boulevard. But it’s not going away. The bookseller is moving the store to the Town Square Center on Westshore Boulevard in space previously occupied by Pier One. The company did not respond to a request for comment, but employees expect the new, smaller, location to open Feb. 14. There are unconfirmed whispers that the grocer Aldi may be considering moving into the bookstore’s current space.

Shopping trip: A recently completed Hillsborough County shopping center anchored by a Publix has sold to Fairway Investments, an Alabama-based investment firm. The sales price wasn’t disclosed and property records haven’t been updated. Livingston Market, just south of State Road 54 in Lutz, was completed in November. Fairway’s portfolio includes with 2.2 million square feet of retail, 11,000 apartment units, 2.75 million square feet of industrial and 1.5 million square feet of office space.


Drug deal: A Walgreens in Sarasota has hit the market. The seller is asking $6.95 million for the property, which works out to about to $467.67 per square foot. Whoever buys the property at 3601 Bee Ridge Rd. is guaranteed some tenant stability. According to the listing, the pharmacy chain recently signed a 15-year lease with the option for 12 five-year extensions. According to the online listings at CREXI and Loopnet, the property went on the market Jan. 5. SRS National Net Lease Group is the broker.

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 commercial real estate 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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