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News & Notes

Swedish firm Skanska completes $59M in Tampa school projects

In the week's top commercial real estate news, a Palmetto resort is opening, Clearwater gets a new boat dealer, and a Port Charlotte apartment complex is under construction.

  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 5:00 a.m. April 14, 2024
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Skanska USA has finish construction at two local public schools in Hillsborough County.
Skanska USA has finish construction at two local public schools in Hillsborough County.
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Naples/Fort Myers/Charlotte

If you build it: Construction has started on a new apartment community in Port Charlotte. The property is at U.S. 41 and Cranberry Road and will be called Livano Charlotte Harbor. LandSouth Construction, the Jacksonville builder behind the project, says the complex will be made up of of seven, four-story buildings with 10 different floor plans ranging from 831 square feet to 1,594 square feet. Work is expected to be complete in early 2026. The Alabama multifamily developer LIV Development bought the 22-acre parcel of land earlier this year, paying $8.4 million. The firm, which owns or has sold 13 properties in Florida, is also building a 234-unit apartment building in Pasco County at State Road 54 and Henley Road in Lutz. As for LandSouth, it was founded in 1988 and has built more than 25,000 multifamily units.

School days 1: A New Jersey investor has bought a 2.21-acre parcel in Cape Coral. The property is at 1628 Skyline Blvd. and was bought by an LLC based in Union, New Jersey. It paid $5.25 million. Lee County property records do not list what the previous owner, VDP Cape Coral Properties, paid for the land, saying the parcel was created in 2021 when it was “split or combined at the request of the property owner.” A building on the property is occupied by The Learning Experience, a Deerfield Beach chain of day care centers. The property records show it was built in 2022 and is 10,010 square feet. The day care chain operates seven other centers in the Tampa Bay market and one in Lakewood Ranch. Two others are under construction. On average, the company says, the cost of building a school is $3.2 million to $3.5 million.

Tampa/St. Petersburg/ Pasco/Polk

Float your boat: Boateka, a growing chain of used boat dealerships opened its latest store last week. The new store is in Clearwater, at 1721 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd. in a 22,000-square-foot space previously occupied by West Marine. According to Pinellas County records the property is owned by a local investor who bought it in 2004 for $1.9 million. The store is the chain’s second in Florida. The other — a flagship store that opened in 2021 — is on Merritt Island. The third opened in Georgia earlier this year. Boateka, according to a statement announcing the opening, “specializes in offering high-quality certified pre-owned boats through its detailed 100-point inspection, robust refurbishment process and limited warranties.” While the chain is fairly new, its parent company knows the business well. Boateka is owned the Brunswick Corp. The Mettawa, Illinois-based company is in the “marine recreation” industry and operates more than 60 brands, according to the statement.

The TradeWinds Island Resort wants to build a rooftop terrace as part of its expansion.
Courtesy image

Sunset views: The TradeWinds Island Resort seeks to build a rooftop terrace as part of its expansion. The 4,800-square-foot terrace would be atop a 12-story building that’s coming to the St. Pete Beach hotel and would allow visitors — whether they be hotel guests or not — to view sunsets. It will include space to sit or stroll and have a dedicated elevator. The plans also call for a lookout balcony with a glass floor for views of the beach and pools below. Before any of this happens, though, the city of St. Pete Beach needs to approve a conditional use permit for the redevelopment at a Monday meeting. The hotel’s owner, 1754 Properties, has proposed adding 639 new rooms and 68,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, according to a statement, The redevelopment would be done in four phases over 20 years. The developer paid $81.4 million for the TradeWinds in 2019.

School days 2:  Skanska USA has finished construction at two public schools in Hillsborough County. The Swedish firm’s Tampa office oversaw the work. One of the projects was the $47 million “campus conversion” of Collins PK-8 in Riverview. The work there included adding a 70,000-square-foot classroom building and another 30,000 square feet across six of the seven buildings. The school, which was expanded from elementary to Pre-K through eighth grade, got 1,400 new student stations, specialized science classrooms, group learning areas and a modern media center. The second project was a $12 million upgrade to Chamberlain High School’s athletic complex. Skanska says the Tampa school got a complete overhaul of its football field and track, which included adding artificial turf and a rubberized track. The stadium’s bleachers were replaced as well, with lightweight aluminum and a decorative fence and an illuminated sign added. Skanska USA was founded in 1971 and employs more than 7,300 people. It has more than 30 offices in the U.S., including Tampa, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale.


The expanded Bradenton Area Convention Center in Palmetto is expected to generate an economic impact of $25 million annually.
Courtesy image

Hotel happening: The Marriott Palmetto Resort & Spa is getting set to open. The new 252-room Manatee County hotel on U.S. Highway 41 has set an official ribbon cutting to commemorate the opening for April 30. The eight-story property sits right on the Manatee River and counts a VIP roof top bar, grand floor restaurant and 10,000 square feet of meeting space as amenities. According to a statement announcing the opening, the hotel’s architecture and design elements are “reminiscent of a ship on land, (paying) homage to its nautical inspiration and idyllic location.” The Marriott is next to the Bradenton Area Convention Center, which is undergoing a $48 million renovation that will include connecting it to the hotel. The center will be fully renovated and there will be a 14,000-square-foot ballroom seating up to 900 conference-goers added. Work is expected to be done next year. When it’s finished, the combined properties will have 140,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and event space.

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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