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News & Notes

Texas investor buys Venice medical building for $34.3 million

In the week's top commercial real estate news, Tampa gets new retailers, Bradenton gets a new hotel, and Naples gets a new upscale eatery.

  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 5:00 a.m. January 21, 2024
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
A Dallas private equity firm has bought PAM Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Venice.
A Dallas private equity firm has bought PAM Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Venice.
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Naples/Fort Myers

Buy to conserve: Lee County is buying 71 acres of property in North Fort Myers and Bokeelia that will be set aside for conservation. County Commissioners approved the purchases at its first meeting of the year. In total, the county is paying $6 million for the land. The Fort Myers property is 51 acres and is along the Caloosahatchee River and the Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve. It sold for $5 million plus closing costs. The property in Bokeelia, which is on Pine Island, is at the end of Ficus Tree Lane, a private dirt road, and immediately south of the Calusa Land Trust & Nature Preserve, near Smokehouse Bay Preserve. The 20-acre parcel sold for $1 million plus closing costs. The purchases are part of Lee’s Conservation 20/20 Land Acquisition program which buys land for “resource-based opportunities” including hiking, birdwatching and nature studies as well as protects drinking water and provide wildlife habitats.

Fine eatin’: J. Alexander’s has opened in Naples. The popular, upscale chain’s new location is 8860 Tamiami Trail N., site of a former Buca Di Beppo Italian restaurant. Buca had been in that space for about 20 years before closing in 2022. J. Alexander’s new 9,000-square-foot eatery is its seventh in the state — including one in Tampa — and No. 30 in the U.S. The chain is owned by Houston-based SPB Hospitality, which bought J. Alexander’s in 2021 for $220 million. SPB’s roster of restaurants is rather diverse — so diverse the owner of J. Alexander’s bought Krystal Restaurants last year.

Tampa/St. Petersburg

Retail roadway: The new year has brought two new retailers to revamped properties along North Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa. Bassett Furniture and electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian Automotive have both opened along the city’s main commercial corridor — near Interstate 275 and Midtown Tampa — in spaces previously occupied by well-known merchants. Bassett opened where Rooms To Go was, in the Walter's Crossing shopping center. The Virginia-based furniture retailer paid $7.65 million for the building in 2022 and completely renovated it. As for Rivian, it has opened a service center at 701 N. Dale Mabry Highway, formerly the site of CompUSA and TigerDirect. That property is owned by a California company that paid $7 million for it in 2016, according to Hillsborough County property records.

Make it green: America Industrial Guide has opened a facility in East Tampa at 2820 N. 34th St. The company, which manufacturers biodegradable and environmentally-friendly cleaning products for industrial machinery, plans to hire about 15 people over the next two years to fill roles at the site. The jobs will be in administration, sales and operations. American Industrial has owned the property since 2021 (Hillsborough County property records show it was quitclaimed) and spent the past couple of years constructing the new building. The 10,000-square-foot space will house the company’s manufacturing, warehouse and office operations. The Tampa Bay Economic Development Council announced the opening. It worked to connect the company with CareerSource Tampa Bay for recruitment assistance and other resources.


Hospital happenings: A Dallas private equity firm specializing in medical buildings has bought a property in south Sarasota County. MedProperties bought the newly constructed PAM Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Venice for $34.3 million. The two-story, 50,000-square-foot building is at 2639 Curry Lane, just shy of two miles from Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s Venice campus. The previous owner was an LLC tied to Catalyst Health Care Real Estate in Pensacola. Sarasota County property records show Catalyst paid $1.25 million for the land in 2021. According to a June news release from Catalyst, the rehab hospital is a partnership between Pennsylvania-based PAM Health and Kettering Health and has 62 beds “catering to patients in need of complex care.” MedProperties, according to its website, has spent more than $1.2 billion to develop or buy more than 100 projects totaling 4 million square feet in 23 states.

The Bradenton Area Convention Center is about to get a $48 million face-lift.
Courtesy image

Conventional construction: The Bradenton Area Convention Center is about to get a $48 million face-lift, which will include connecting it to a new 252-room Marriott hotel. The Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau has started to renovate and expand the nearly 40-year-old center, a project expected to be complete by the middle of 2025. The work will include a full renovation of the property and the addition of a 14,000-square-foot ballroom, according to a statement. The ballroom will seat 900 conference-goers and can be split into two equal sections. As part of the expansion, a corridor will be built to connect the center with the soon-to-open Marriott Palmetto Resort and Spa. The hotel will have a ground floor restaurant and lounge, VIP rooftop bar and lounge and 10,000 square feet of meeting space to compliment the center. 

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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