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120,000-square-foot retail and commercial center planned for Babcock Ranch

Developers to pitch City Hall plans, fashion company buys Cape Coral property and more storage coming to Pasco top the week's top commercial real estate news.

  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 10:55 a.m. March 31, 2023
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Babcock Ranch developers plan to build 120,000-square-foot retail center in the master plan community.
Babcock Ranch developers plan to build 120,000-square-foot retail center in the master plan community.
Courtesy photo
  • Commercial Real Estate
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Naples/Fort Myers

Home again: Home developer D.R. Horton has bought nearly six acres in Punta Gorda. The Arlington, Texas builder paid $1.6 million for the 5.58-acre parcel at 2127 Royal Tern Circle from the Heritage Lake Park Development District. Horton, which has offices in Fort Myers, Tampa and Sarasota, is one of the largest homebuilders in the country. It is currently operating in 109 markets in 33 states. An interactive map of its communities shows developments stretching up the west coast of Florida from just north of Naples to Spring Hill. The company did not disclose its plans for this  parcel.

Fashion forward:  An LLC sharing an address with a Fort Myers fashion house has paid $1.6 million for a 4.46-acre parcel in Cape Coral.  The property is at 801 S.W. Pine Island Road, which is at S.W. 2nd Terrace, next to The Palms at Cape Coral. The buyer is an LLC by the name of Savona of SW Florida. According to records from the state’s Divisions of Corporations, the address for Savona, 14975 Technology Court, matches that of the House of Wu. Wen Wu, the fashion and wedding dress design company’s CEO, is listed as the LLC’s manager. House of Wu, according to its website, is a designer with 26 labels and network of 1,200 retailers in North and South America, the Middle East and the Caribbean. LSI Companies brokered the sale for the seller, Northwest Cape Partners.

More shops: Babcock Ranch, the self-sustaining, eco-friendly master planned community in Lee and Charlotte counties, is adding more retailers. A new 120,000-square-foot center is being planned and construction could begin later this year. The center, to be called the Shoppes at Yellow Pine, will include a lakefront restaurant as well as space for retail and commercial and office tenants. Developers believe the center will attract general shopping, medical offices and a hardware store. Along with the new center, construction is underway on a freestanding Pet Supermarket and Starbucks with a drive-thru. The additional retail comes just about two years after Crescent B Commons, a Publix-anchored shopping center, opened, which gave the mostly out-of-the-way Babcock Ranch its first major retailers.

Tampa/St. Petersburg

Rehab resell: The property belonging to the Countryside Rehab and Healthcare Center in Palm Harbor has sold for $12.95 million. According to Pinellas County property records, the buyer was an LLC with a Manhattan address — 99 Wall St., Unit 1444. The LLC  is registered in Delaware. The seller is another LLC, with an address that matches that of Formation Capital, an Atlanta investor in senior health care facilities. As for Countryside Rehab itself, the center’s website says it is part of Independence Living Center, a chain of health care centers aimed at senior citizens. The company has about 20 centers in Florida, including 10 between Pinellas and south Sarasota County.

Land O’Storage: A central Florida developer is building a 92,503-square-foot storage facility in Land O’Lakes. The construction is happening at U.S. 41 and Swans Landing Drive in Pasco County. When complete, the facility will be run by Life Storage and will include more than 700 units — 632 climate-controlled and 70 non-climate-controlled. Lake Mary-based developer Flagship Companies Group is working with Blue Vista Capital Management on the Pasco facility and a second one in Cocoa. That 75,156-square-foot facility will have 660 climate-controlled self-storage units. In all, Flagship has built and managed more than two million square feet of self-storage space and is expecting to double that by the end of this year. Construction on the Land O’Lakes facility is expected to be done May of 2024.


Can’t fight city hall: Bradenton’s City Council is scheduled to hear from three developers the week of April 10 about their thoughts for what to do with City Hall. For more than a year now the city has been discussing selling the building and moving its offices, as well a police headquarters, to new locations. A big reason for this is  City Hall is on a prime 3.9- acre lot on the Manatee River, near the marina, pier and the downtown Riverwalk. Many see it as a piece of land ripe for redevelopment, bringing more life to downtown with a project that could include luxury waterfront condos or a hotel. The developers are: L & L Development Group, which is offering $14.1 million; Red Apple Real Estate, which is offering $12.75 million; and Silver Hills Development, which is offering $11.6 million. The developers are expected to present their plans to council members April 12.



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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