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Publix spends $63 million on two local shopping centers

In the week's top commercial real estate news, Florida Power & Light buys more land in Manatee, a prominent Fort Myers firm is expanding, and 3,000 cows are on the market.

  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 5:00 a.m. November 12, 2023
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Lakeland based Publix Super Markets has bought two shopping centers in Hillsborough County.
Lakeland based Publix Super Markets has bought two shopping centers in Hillsborough County.
Courtesy image
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Naples/Fort Myers

Not staying put: LSI Cos., a well known Fort Myers commercial real estate firm, is opening an office in Naples. The office is at 851 5th Ave. N., Suite 303, where three broker associates and a full administrative staff will work out of. According to the firm, the expansion is meant “to better serve (its) longstanding Collier County client base as the area grows and expands with new development, improved property resales and redevelopment projects.” Thus far this year, LSI has brokered more than $207 million in sales in Southwest Florida, firm officials say. And its brokered $870 million in sales in the past five years. A spokesperson for LSI says that just in Collier the firm has 3,000 acres of property in the pipeline valued at more than $80 million.

Office pick up: A Bonita Springs office building has sold. The 26,000-square foot building at 9696 Bonita Beach Road was bought by a Sanibel company called 9696 Bonita LP. It paid $4.6 million for the property, buying it from the Naples based Porter Group. The sale was announced by Premier Commercial, a Bonita Springs firm. According to the listing, the two-story building was built in 2002 and sits on 1.9 acres. It is about a mile east of U.S Highway 41.

At the movies: The former B&B Naples Towne Centre 6 movie theater in Naples is for rent. The 18,995-square-foot space is in the Publix-anchored Naples Towne Center South at 3855 Tamiami Trail. Luli Cannon, the broker listing the property for Tampa-based RMC Property Group, says the "rates are negotiable depending on other lease terms." According to the website Cinema Treasures, the movie theater first opened as The Cobb Towne Center 6 on Dec. 12, 1986. Regal Cinemas closed it in 2000. B & B Theatres took over in 2012 and it closed for good Sept. 24. In a Facebook post two days earlier, B&B says it was shuttering the theater “after considerable deliberation and contemplation.”

Tampa/St. Petersburg

A whole lot of subs: Publix has bought two shopping centers in Hillsborough County. Property records show the Lakeland grocery store giant paid a total of $62.9 million for the centers — one in Brandon and one in Tampa — buying them under the name of Real Sub LLC. State corporation records show Real Sub’s principal address is 3300 Publix Corporate Parkway in Lakeland. That is the address of the grocer’s corporate headquarters. The Brandon center, at 11255 Causeway Blvd., sold for $38 million, records show. According to a LoopNet profile and county property records, the 177,696-square-foot Publix anchored center was built in 1998. Its previous owner, Ohio-based Site Centers Corp., paid $18.27 million in 2009. The other property is the Publix-anchored North Pointe Center at 15001 N. Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa. Publix paid $24.9 million for the 107,994-square-foot center, built in 1990. It too was previously owned by Site Centers but county records don’t show what it paid for that property. 

St. Louis-based Hogan Truck Leasing has bought a 5.23-acre industrial property at 3315 U.S. Highway 301 in Tampa.
Image courtesy of Industrial Realty Solutions

Hat trick: Hogan Truck Leasing has bought an industrial property in Tampa. The St. Louis-based company paid $7.75 million for the 5.23-acre site at 3315 U.S. Highway 301. The company, founded in 1918, opened a 38,156-square foot rental and service center on the property last year and exercised its right of first refusal when the property hit the market. The sale marks the third time in 13 months that the Safety Harbor commercial real estate firm Industrial Realty Solutions worked a deal on the piece of land. The first was in September of 2022 when it listed, found a buyer and sold the property for $5.1 million to a company named Thunder Holdings Limited. It then put it up for lease for the new owner and brought in Hogan. Then, when the new owner put it back on the market as an investment property, Industry Realty found yet another buyer. But this time, Hogan took advantage of its right of first refusal. Family-owned and operated Industry Realty has been in business 24 years.


Dakin Dairy Farm is on the market in Manatee County.
Image courtesy of SVN Saunders Ralston Dantzler

For the cows: A 350.2-acre farm in Manatee County is on the market. The property is in Myakka City and has 4,000 feet of frontage on Betts Road. But the buyer isn’t only getting a prime piece of real estate. The property is a turn-key, income-producing dairy operation currently housing a herd of up to 3,000 lactating cows, says the listing agent, SVN Saunders Ralston Dantzler in Lakeland. The listing says the property includes six free-stall barns, a milking parlor, silage storage and a milk processing plant to process and package all milk produced onsite. As for the cows, they “enjoy comfortable free stalls for the majority of their day, with dry cows and heifers typically housed offsite.” And the facility has the potential to expand the herd to 4,000 cows. "The owner is going to let the market determine the value/price."

Power up: Speaking of Myakka City, Florida Power & Light has bought even more land in the Manatee town. According to county property records, the power company bought four parcels totaling 1,778-acres for $14.49 million. A spokesman for FPL says in an email that the company buys land for a "variety of reasons, including siting infrastructure, providing easements and identifying sites for potential solar development." He went on to say that it "is actively permitting" a 74.5-megawatt solar site on this particular property." This latest purchase adds to an earlier haul this year when FP&L spent $30 million for 3,400 acres in Myakka City and $40.5 million for about 3,177 acres in Immokalee in Collier County. The company has not said what that land is for, but plans submitted to the Florida Public Service Commission earlier this year and comments on an earnings call in late July point to the possibility, if not likelihood, that some of it may be used for solar as well.

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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