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News & Notes

Famed Parisian fashion house Chanel opens Tampa store

In the week's top commercial real estate news, a mobile home park is bought in Fort Myers, a Virginia convinience store sells in Palmetto, and retailers open in Tampa.

  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 5:00 a.m. September 3, 2023
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Three retailers are opening stores in Tampa's Hyde Park Village this fall.
Three retailers are opening stores in Tampa's Hyde Park Village this fall.
Courtesy photo
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Naples/Fort Myers

Upward mobility: A Fort Myers mobile home park has sold for $17.7 million. River Estates at 16700 Slater Road was bought by an LLC named Rivers MHC, Lee County property records show. The Orlando address for Rivers MHC listed in county property records and the state’s Division of Corporations’ database matches that of the Zimmerman Kiser & Sutcliffe Attorneys. The firm, on its website, lists affordable housing as one of its practice areas saying it has a team in place that to assist “from the inception of a transaction all the way through the life cycle of a particular project.” River Estates is a 55 and over community with a pool, clubhouse and lake that, according to property records, is on 92 acres. The seller was a local LLC named Fort Myers 21.

Tampa/St. Petersburg

Healthy living: The Tampa Bay market’s medical office sector is, well, healthy. According to Cushman & Wakefield, the overall vacancy rate in the market has fallen to 6.2%, a 40-basis point drop from last year and below the five-year average of 8.2%. The commercial real estate firm says Hillsborough County ended the second quarter with a 3% vacancy rate, down 300 basis point from last year. Pasco County saw a vacancy uptick, though, increasing to 4.8%, up 420 basis points. This was due to the opening of the BayCare Medical Arts Building, which had 36,200 square feet of vacant space, according to the report. While vacancy rates are down overall, the asking price for space is going up, rising 4.6% over last year to $27.58 per square foot. Rents were up 10% to $28.18 per square foot in Hillsborough; 6.8% to $30.02 per square foot in Pasco; and 1% to $27.06 per square foot in Pinellas County. 

The Greater Clearwater Chamber of Commerce has bought an office building at 1346 S. Fort Harrison Ave.
Image via property listing

Buy to sell: The Greater Clearwater Chamber of Commerce has bought an office building near the city’s downtown. According to Pinellas County property records, the organization paid $2 million for the building, at 1346 S. Fort Harrison Ave. It was previously owned by an LLC named KER Holdings Fort Harrison, which paid $700,000 in 2015. The 7,563-square-foot, two story building off of Belleair Country Club’s golf course has three offices on the first floor and five offices on the second, according to the listing. There are conference rooms on each floor and a view of the course on the second. The chamber operates as Amplify Clearwater and moved from its previous location on Cleveland Street.

Retail runway: Tampa’s chic shopping district Hyde Park Village is getting three new tenants, just as one of the world’s best-known brands opens a store nearby. WS Development, which bought the district in 2013, announced the new womenswear retailers last week. The company says the three first-to market merchants would open in the fall. Meanwhile, about five miles away at International Plaza and Bay Street, the luxury fashion house Chanel has opened a fragrance and beauty boutique. The shop is on the second floor of the upscale Tampa mall and joins internationally renowned brands Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Tiffany and Co. and Saint Laurent.

The stores opening in Hyde Park are:

  • Veronica Beard at 1602 W. Snow Ave.
  • Alice + Olivia by Stacey Bendet at 1625 W. Swann Ave.
  • Silvia Tcherassi at 1609 W. Swann Ave.


Up, up and away: Circle K Stores has bought a convenience store and gas station in Manatee County. According to county property records, the chain paid $10.85 million for the property at 7219 U.S. 41 N. in Palmetto. A LoopNet profile shows the property is 5,750 square feet and 1.74 acres. The store has a Dairy Queen and Subway sandwich shop inside. The seller was Land 113. State records show that Land 113 is an LLC belonging to Uphoff Investments in Chester, Virginia, a suburb of Richmond. Uphoff once owned a chain of 44 convenience stores in Virginia named Uppy’s. It sold the stores and a subsidiary, Southside Oil, in 2010. About two years later, the Uppy’s stores were rebranded as Circle K. Interestingly, the Palmetto location was named Uppy’s and had a standalone website. The phone number for the store was not in service Aug. 31. 

Pay to play: It’s about to get a bit more expensive to build in Sarasota. The Sarasota City Commission voted unanimously in late August to double developers’ contribution to a public arts fund. The Sarasota Observer, sister newspaper of the Business Observer, reports that any new development in the city, including condominiums and apartment developments, costing $1 million or more will now pay a 1% fee to sustain and grow the city’s public art collection. Developers do have the option of providing their own approved public art and the fee does not apply to developments that include affordable housing.

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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