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Developer pays nearly $18M for 195 acres along I-75 in Punta Gorda

In the week's top commercial real estate news, a Sarasota tower is approved, four Tampa properties are included in $1.5 billion portfolio sale, and a Cape Coral pizza joint opens.

  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 5:00 a.m. June 16, 2024
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
A New York developer bought 195 acres off of I-75 in Punta Gorda.
A New York developer bought 195 acres off of I-75 in Punta Gorda.
Image courtesy of LSI Cos.
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Naples/Fort Myers/Charlotte

A big buy: A 195-acre parcel of property in Punta Gorda has sold. The land is at 175 Kings Highway just off Interstate 75. According to LSI Cos., which brokered and announced the deal, the sale price was $17.85 million. LSI did not name the buyer but Charlotte County property records show it was an LLC named TEG 175 Kings Highway whose address in the state’s Division of Corporations matches an Airmont, New York company named the Repag Accounting Group. Repag, on its website, describes itself as a “boutique back office firm for multifamily real estate.” Its offerings include financial and operations services for property owners, including payroll, cash management, accounts payable and financial reporting. There is nothing on the site about it owning properties. If the name sounds familiar, four LLCs tied to Repag bought the Charlotte Commons Apartments in Port Charlotte for $66.5 million earlier this year. The Punta Gorda deal was brokered by LSI’s William Rollins and Christi Pritchett.

A pizza of pie: Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers has opened a new Florida restaurant in Cape Coral, at 53 N.E. Pine Island Road next to next to Gator Mike’s Family Fun Park. The 5,479-square-foot restaurant has a 60-plus-seat main dining room and a full bar. For those unfamiliar with Mellow Mushroom, be aware that it’s not a corner pizzeria in Brooklyn nor your local Pizza Hut. The chain, in a news release when it announced it was opening in Cape Coral, says what it offers is “stone-baked specialty pizzas and mellow vibes along with vibrant selections of shareable munchies, greens, remixed sandwiches, smash-style burgers and sweet treats.” While a little out there, it is an apt description for its menu and flower-power atmosphere. In all, the Atlanta chain has 23 restaurants in the state. Of those, eight (including the new one) are along the Gulf Coasts with locations in Clearwater, Brandon, Estero, Fort Myers, Lakeland, Wesley Chapel and Sarasota. 

The 2,480-square-foot Fort Myers building housing the AYR cannabis dispensary on Cleveland Avenue was bought by an investor who paid $5.3 million.

A cannabis deal: A Fort Myers retail building occupied by a cannabis dispensary has sold. The 2,480-square-foot building at 2952 Cleveland Ave. was bought by an investor who paid $5.3 million. The previous owner, a Boca Raton LLC, paid $570,000 for it in 2022 according to Lee County property records. Ron Osborne, managing director and broker for the Sperry RJ Realty, says the current tenant AYR Cannabis Dispensary has a long-term lease with annual rent increases. The South Florida commercial real estate firm represented the buyer, a Dania Beach LLC. According to the listing, there are eight years left on the lease with 3% annual increases with the most recent one in March. AYR is a Miami chain of dispensaries with stores in Nevada, Illinois, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In Florida, it has more than 60 locations including 19 along the Gulf Coast.

Tampa/St. Petersburg/ Pasco/Polk

Better than average: May was a good month for Chris Bowers with Eshenbaugh Land Co. The broker at the Tampa land firm closed two deals totaling 180 acres and nearly $7 million. The first was the purchase of 20 acres in Pasco County. The property, off of Handcart Road in Wesley Chapel, was sold to DRB Homes May 31. The builder paid $5.9 million and plans to build a 144-unit townhouse community to be named Twin Oaks Townhomes on the site. Bowers represented DRB. The second deal was for 160 acres in Citrus County. The property sold May 23 for $1.05 million to a private investor who plans to use it for recreational purposes. Bowers represented the seller. Eshenbaugh was founded in 1992 by Bill Eshenbaugh and sold to Ryan Sampson in 2015. In 2022, the company surpassed $2 billion in total sales volume.

The Dawson Apartments in Tampa are part of $1.5 billion portfolio sale that included four communities in the city.
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Big book of units: Miami-based Starwood Capital has sold a 7,300-unit multifamily portfolio with properties in Florida and Texas. Four of them are in Tampa. The industry publication CRE Connect says the buyer was the Toronto investment firm Brookfield, which paid $1.55 billion for the portfolio. The Tampa communities sold for a total of $185.4 million. Brookfield is a global investment firm with a property division whose portfolio includes office, retail, multifamily, logistics, hospitality, single-family rentals, manufactured housing, student housing and self-storage. CRE Connect says the company plans to spend $100 million in the next five years to upgrade and renovate units and amenities. The local properties are:

  • The 408-unit Dawson Apartments at 15501 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. for $66.7 million.
  • The 264-unit St. James Crossing Apartments at 5620 Tranquility Oaks Dr. for $49.2 million.
  • The 256-unit Oak Ramble Apartments at 14627 Grenadine Dr. 256 for $48.2 million.
  • The 112-unit South Pointe Apartments at 5000 S. Himes Ave. for $21.3 million.


Community lagoon coming: Construction is set to begin this summer on a four-acre lagoon in Parrish. The man-made body of water is being built in the mixed-use Seaire community by Tampa-based Metro Development Communities. The lagoon will be surrounded by 20 acres of shoreline and will include a swim-up bar as well as kayaking and paddle boarding. Seaire is one of several lagoon-centered developments for the master planned community developer. That, according to its website, includes two in Pasco County, one in Hillsborough County and one coming to Fort Myers. While the lagoon, arguably the centerpiece of the new Manatee County development, isn’t built yet, construction has already started on some of the homes in the 1,155-acre development. There are expected to be 3,000 single-family homes built in all.

The 4-acre lagoon is being built in the new Seaire community in Manatee County will offer a a "coastal lifestyle" in Parrish.
Courtesy image

Consensus in planning: Sarasota’s Planning Board unanimously approved the first of two buildings in the One Park development in The Quay. According to the Sarasota Observer, a sister publication of the Business Observer, the board’s OK of the plan for the 18-story, 86-unit luxury condo tower last week gets the developers to “the midpoint of their 18-month, often contentious odyssey for Blocks 1 and 9 in The Quay.” The original plan called for One Park to be built on both blocks and connected via a breezeway over Quay Commons. But in October a judge ruled that the air rights over the commons couldn’t be conveyed and the Planning Board later voted to recommend denial of PMG’s proposal to combine the two blocks. The plan now calls for two buildings. The second one, One Park West, is still awaiting approval.

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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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