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News & Notes

Miami investor launches $250M multifamily fund targeting Tampa

A Tampa office building sells, a top real estate firm consolidates, and a major price drop top the week's commercial real estate news.

  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 5:00 a.m. May 21, 2023
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Gopher Ridge in Collier County is for sale. The 5,500-acre property is primed for residential development.
Gopher Ridge in Collier County is for sale. The 5,500-acre property is primed for residential development.
Courtesy photo
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Naples/Fort Myers

Bargain basement: The price has been lowered on 5,500-acre parcel in Collier County. Gopher Ridge, just north of Immokalee and immediately northwest of the Immokalee Airport, was originally listed at $57.8 million and can now be bought for $44.5 million. SVN Saunders Ralston Dantzler is listing the property, which has historically produced high-yielding round oranges for juice production and is primed, according to the listing, for “future residential development with 1,763 acres with a (future land use) of 4-8 units per acre and large acreage land banking.”

Sail on, sailor: Construction is expected to begin June 1 on a long-awaited boat storage facility at the Compass Rose Marina on Fort Myers Beach. The facility will include 286 dry storage slips. Given Hurricane Ian, the structure is being built using concrete and steel in order to withstand winds of up to 200 miles per hour and a Category 5 hurricane. Future plans for the marina include 29 wet slips and 30,000 square feet of retail, office and mini-storage space. There is no timeline for the project given it will be built in phases, a spokesperson says.

Tampa/St. Petersburg

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes: A major downtown St. Petersburg project is losing a piece of its residential component. Developers behind the Orange Station development at the site of the city’s former police headquarters announced the project would no longer include long planned condominiums. What will remain is 42 workforce apartments. The plan is now to replace the apartments by more than doubling the amount of office space from 50,000 square feet to 125,000 square feet. The plan also calls for Orange Station, which is in the city’s Edge District, to include an Autograph Collection Hotel. The project’s developer did not respond to a request for comment on how the changes will affect the previously announced $80 million price tag. What is known is that the changed plan must be approved by the city before it can move forward. A date for when St. Petersburg City Council will consider the change has not been set, per a spokesperson. The police headquarters building has been demolished and construction could begin as soon as late this year depending on when, or if, the change is approved.

One Presidents Plaza in Tampa has sold to South Florida private equity group for $14.25 million.
Courtesy photo

Good neighbors: A Tampa office building named One Presidents Plaza has sold to a South Florida private equity group for $14.25 million. The 96,376-square-foot office building is at 4902 Eisenhower Blvd., near Tampa International Airport. It is next door to the Bridge Building, which until about a year ago was known as Presidents Plaza II. That’s when it was bought by the New York investment firm The Sason Organization for $14.2 million. Sason has said it is investing $4.5 million for renovations in the building. The new owners of One Presidents Plaza, Balogh Family Partnership, are also changing the name and upgrading. The new name for the three-story office building will be Veterans Plaza. And Balogh will improve the common areas and corridors. Colliers represented the seller, the private equity group Tampa Eisenhower.

Show me the money: Miami real estate investment firm Participant Capital Advisors has launched a new fund to look at multifamily properties in the suburbs of Tampa and Orlando and Florida’s major metropolitan markets. The firm is looking to raise $250 million for what it’s calling the Participant Capital Sun Belt Multifamily Development Fund 1. According to the firm, the fund is a “closed-end private equity real estate vehicle with an 8-year projected term.” Apex Group Ltd. will be the administrator. In addition to Tampa and Orlando, the fund will also target mid- and high-rise properties in Miami and South Florida. Participant, affiliated with the developer Royal Palm Cos., says it has developed more than 50 projects, 9,500 units, 18 million square feet and more than $4.7 billion of value creation.


Michael Saunders & Co. has consolidated three offices and moved some of its operations into the Wells Fargo building on Main Street and Orange Avenue in Sarasota.
Courtesy photo

Moving day: Michael Saunders & Co. has moved many of its operations under one roof. The Sarasota residential and commercial real estate brokerage, one of the largest in the region, consolidated three offices and moved some of its operations into the Wells Fargo building on Main Street and Orange Avenue in downtown Sarasota. With the move, about 75 of the firm’s employees are working out of two floors in the 13-story building. The company’s largest branch office is also there, on the ground floor. Before the move Michael Saunders’ agent services teams, executives, title division, commercial advisors and developer services team worked out of three separate buildings — 1801 Main St., 40 N. Osprey St. and 100 S. Washington Blvd. Saunders, in a statement, says being in one spot will create efficiencies that benefit clients and agents. The firm, founded in 1976 on St. Armands Circle, had more than $3.8 billion in sales volume last year.

Road block: Plans for a major residential project on Sarasota’s waterfront are on hold. According to the Sarasota Observer, a sister publication of the Business Observer, Delray Beach developer Kolter Urban asked for a continuance at planning meeting last week — moments before the city’s Planning Board was set to likely reject its request for a site plan approval and minor modification to the The Quay general development plan. Kolter is looking to build a second Ritz-Carlton Residences along the Quay Sarasota yacht basin, with 78 condominiums and a 9,100-square-foot private club. At the mid-May meeting, Planning Board member Kathy Kelley Olrich called for the board to reject the plan, citing inconsistencies with the development code. The ensuing discussion clearly indicated the application was going to be rejected, possibly unanimous. Just before the vote an attorney for the developer asked for the delay. After some discussion, the board agreed. A Kolter spokesperson did not respond to questions about what's next.

If you have news, notes or tips you want to pass along, contact LLLovio@BusinessObserverfFLcom. 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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