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Work starts on massive 50-acre, 5,000-residence downtown development

A $95 million apartment sale, retail properties change hands and a new county admin building top the week's commercial real estate news.

  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 5:00 a.m. March 6, 2023
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
When complete, Gas Worx will include 5,000 residences, 500,000 square feet of office and 140,000 square feet of retail.
When complete, Gas Worx will include 5,000 residences, 500,000 square feet of office and 140,000 square feet of retail.
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Naples/Fort Myers

Park your testosterone: A pair of developers are building a facility filled with what’s billed as “man-cave style” suites in Fort Myers. The development is called Signature Storage Suites and will be similar to car condos springing up around the area. The six-building gated facility will be built at 16291 Pine Ridge Rd. Construction is expected to begin in the second quarter and the 80 units will be ready by the end of the year. The units, the developers say in a statement, could house luxury vehicles or pool tables, bars, couches and wall-to-wall televisions, and will range from 1,430 square feet to 2,100 square feet and feature a 2,500-pound garage door and separate entry door. There also will be green space for barbecues and a car wash on the 17-acre property.

Take me down to Paradise City: Paradise Vintage Market, which sustained significant damage during Hurricane Ian, will open in a new location. The mall has leased 31,529 square feet at the North Fort Myers Center at 13821 N. Cleveland Ave. Paradise Vintage will rent space to dealers specializing in vintage antiques and collectible. Paradise Village says on its website that it’s a place where “shoppers will find quality vintage, antique and collectable items” and that “dealers will enjoy the clean, bright and comfortable sales environment.” According to SVN Commercial Partners, which helped Paradise Vintage find the space, the hope is to open in the next two months.

Who says retail is dead: The Commons at Collier in Naples has sold. The 12,601-square-foot shopping center was bought by Bryer Properties and Bryer Investment Properties for $6.27 million, says Premier Commercial, which represented the buyer. Tenants in the center at 6654 Collier Blvd. include a Dominos's Pizza, county tax collector’s office and a SuperCuts. But one of Commons at Collier’s big selling points — which was harped on in a LoopNet profile — is that it has access to a bigger shopping center with a tenant mix that includes a Walmart Supercenter, Ross, Pet Supermarket and ALDI.

Tampa/St. Petersburg

Tick, tick, boom part 2: Total Wrecking & Environmental out of Buffalo, New York, is once again blowing things up in Lakeland. The company imploded a 225-foot fossil fuel-fired boiler March 5 at the Lakeland Electric C.D. McIntosh Jr. Power Plant. The first implosion happened in January when the company took down a 260-foot stack and 90-foot selective catalytic reduction unit. All of the demolition is part of six-month project to bring down three massive, coal-fired units that have been in operation for more than 40 years.

Bealls will be ringing: A 104,201-square-foot retail space has sold in New Port Richey. The building, which has been occupied by Bradenton retailer Bealls since 2001, was bought by the investment firm Grant Equities. It paid $7.2 million. The building sits on 7.51 acres on State Road 54 in the Pasco Square shopping center. It was built in 1987 and expended by 20,000 in 2007. Franklin Street, which arranged the sale for the previous owner, had previously negotiated a new long-term lease extension with Bealls.

And so it begins: Construction on the long-waited Gas Worx project is set to begin March 5, with a ceremonial groundbreaking. The first piece of the 50-acre development to be built is a residential piece that will include 719 multifamily units on the site of the old Tampa Park Apartments. The first of the two buildings to come out of the ground will be made up of 315 units. The Gas Worx development, the brainchild of developer and entrepreneur Darryl Shaw, will include 5,000 residences, 500,000 square feet of office and 140,000 square feet of retail. Shaw is working with Kettler, a Virginia multifamily developer and real estate investor, on the project.


Municipal machinations: Sarasota County is showing off plans for its new $75 million administration building. According to the Business Observer’s sister paper the Sarasota Observer, the new offices next to Celery Fields will include a 3,500-square-foot meeting chamber on the north end of the crescent-shaped building, along with conference rooms, a cafeteria and a 4,000-square-foot gym. In January, the county commission approved $28 million in capital improvement revenue bonds to finance the new center, the Observer reported. In November 2021, county commissioners voted unanimously to sell the county’s current administration building at 1660 Ringling Blvd. and two adjacent properties to Manatee County-based Benderson Development for $25 million. As part of the deal, the county leased the building back for $1 million per year for four years.

Changing hands: A just-built 240-unit apartment complex in Bradenton has sold for $95 million. The complex was bought by an LLC which shares a Manhattan address with the private real estate investment firm Abacus Capital Group. According to county property records, the three-story apartment building was built last year. One of the addresses for the property listed on the county’s website is 1130 Upper Manatee River Rd., which is the listed address for Brixley Apartments. Abacus already owns five properties in Florida, including two in the area — Sage Palmer Ranch in Sarasota and Avion at Carrollwood in Tampa.

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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