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SRS Real Estate Welcomes New First Vice President in Tampa

6 Nov 2013, 5:15 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Thomas Michael McNamara recently joined SRS Real Estate Partners’ Tampa office as first vice president.

Headquartered in Dallas, SRS Real Estate Partners is exclusively dedicated to retail services, and it is the largest real estate company of this kind in the U.S. The firm has more than 20 offices worldwide and provides brokerage, corporate, development, management and investment services.

The new first vice president’s responsibilities will include providing tenant representation, landlord representation and land brokerage services across Tampa Bay and Central Florida. McNamara is an experienced a veteran as he has more than 23 years behind his back in the commercial real estate industry. He had most recently worked with Sperry Van Ness as a senior advisor specializing in the sale and leasing of retail, office and industrial properties in the Sarasota, Orlando and Tampa Bay markets.

McNamara is from Orlando by birth but he’s been living in Tampa for several years. He has a master’s degree from the University of Central Florida, and he also acquired a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University. He is member of the International Council of Shopping Centers as well as NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association. He has previously been working as the on-site real estate consultant for Hughes Supply, a Fortune 500 company acquired by Home Depot. At Hughes he directed site selection, leasing and transaction analysis among other aspects of real estate transactions. McNamara has also managed leasing and sales for a 500,000- square-foot office and retail center.

John Artope, executive vice president and market leader for the Orlando, South Florida and Tampa offices takes delight in McNamara’s transfer. They are “pleased to bring in a broker with such a strong background,” he said in a statement. “Michael is going to do great things for the Tampa office,” he added.

Photo Credits: T. Michael McNamara via Facebook

More Homes Likely to Be Built in Channing Park

1 Nov 2013, 6:48 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Developers of Channing Park, near the intersection of Boyette and Dorman roads  in Southeast Tampa, await zoning hearings on incorporating more homes into a subdivision next to FishHawk Ranch.

Hillsborough County Planner Michelle Heinrich told the Tampa Bay Tribune that the current plan allows 443 town homes or single family units. If the request is approved, 146 more homes can be added. The preliminary hearing will be held Dec. 16 and the one with Hillsborough County Commission is scheduled for Feb. 11, 2014.

The requested rezoning should allow building two units per acre instead of only one units per acre. Clayton Bricklemyer, the attorney representing the builder, told the Tribune that the units would be grouped in a way that allows more open space in order to avoid urban sprawl. Channing Park’s original developer, Taylor Morrison will be commissioned with continuing the constructions in the additional 73 acres. Bricklemyer is not aware of any environmental issues on the property, with the exception of a small swamp near Boyette.  He said that during site work, the developers will fully comply with the wetlands rules. Nearby residents should get official notifications of rules by Nov. 15th.

The property is located in Lithia, on the edge of Hillsborough County’s urban service area, which is targeted for growth. The neighboring areas are called rural service areas and are reserved for environmentally sensitive lands, agricultural uses, etc.

Photo Credits: Taylor Morrison

USAA Real Estate to Build $200M Amazon Fulfillment Center

16 Oct 2013, 10:16 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

An Amazon warehouse will be built on a nearly 80-acre site acquired by RELP Tampa LLC. The site was purchased from South Shore Corporate Park LLC for $14.6 million last Thursday.

County and state officials hope the yet-to-be-built $200 million, 1.1-million-square-foot, fulfillment center will breathe life into a still-struggling corner of the community. The project is expected to bring 1000 permanent jobs, out of which 375 would pay above the state average, as well as seasonal and construction work to Hillsborough county.

The seller is an affiliate of Minneapolis-based Ryan Companies U.S. Inc., while the buyer is USAA Real Estate Co., operating as RELP Tampa.

According to Tampa Bay Business Journal, over the past two years USAA Realco has already built seven Amazon fulfillment centers totaling about 8 million square feet of warehouse space. This project has gone public in June when the online retail giant announced that it will open its first Florida distribution center.

Speculation had originally pointed to sites in Hillsborough and Polk counties, both of which considered offering financial incentives to lure a warehouse.

Hillsborough County Commissioner Al Higginbotham recently said Amazon signed a long-term lease for the property, and the incentives would not kick in until the project meets benchmarks. In July, county commissioners voted to waive half of Amazon’s property tax bill for the first seven years, about $6.4 million in total, Tampa Bay Times reported.

Image: UK distribution center Photo courtesy of James Allan via Wikimedia Commons 

Tampa Council Approves $6.5M Restoration of Long-Closed Water Works Park

4 Oct 2013, 3:54 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Water Works Park, tucked away just north of Interstate 275 on the edge of downtown Tampa, is soon to be reopened after decades of neglect.  The City Council voted in late September to move ahead on a $6.5 million plan to restore the park by the spring of 2014.

According to The Tampa Tribune, work could begin in October. Mayor Bob Buckhorn hopes to have the park done by the time Richard Gonzmart’s new Columbia-chain restaurant, Ulele, opens in the spring, or at least to get to a phase where the developments don’t interfere with the restaurant’s activity. As reported by the same newspaper in May, Gonzmart will lease the city’s old Water Works Building for $1 a year for 20 years, with the option to renew for up to three additional 20-year terms. He plans to invest more than $4 million in the nearly 10,000-square-foot building. Gonzmart’s restaurant in the Water Works Building “and us investing in Water Works Park will help to energize and stimulate the redevelopment of Tampa Heights, which will pay huge dividends in terms of property tax revenue,” Buckhorn said. The property is also expected to complement a planned redevelopment of Tampa Heights.

Once it reopens, Buckhorn hopes the park will be as popular as it was after World War I, when the spring was surrounded by a lily pond that was a fashionable spot for Sunday picnics. The 5-acre park already has plenty of oak trees and a view of the Hillsborough River. The City of Tampa plans to complete the project with a further section of the Riverwalk, playgrounds, an event stage, public boat slips, restrooms and a restored spring. The spring, originally named after 19th century Tampa judge James T. Magbee, has been known as Ulele Spring since 2006, when a the City Council changed its name to honor the daughter of a Timucuan chief who is said to have saved the life of a young 16th century Spanish explorer.

The renovation will be carried out by Belleair-based Biltmore Construction. One of the major expenses of the the project is a $976,000 property cleanup. The property was previously used as a fuel depot for the Tampa Police Department.

Photo credit: City of Tampa

Tampa M-F Property Part of $170M Landmark Apartment Trust Purchase

19 Jul 2013, 9:42 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

Richmond, Va.-based Landmark Apartment Trust of America has gone on a buying spree. A Tampa property was among its most recent acquisitions.

Following a series of four separate transactions—with a combined price of approximately $169.3 million—Landmark added a total of 2,252 apartment units to its growing portfolio. Combined, the eight properties are currently 95 percent occupied.

“These strategic acquisitions directly align with our focus of purchasing apartment communities in quality locations throughout the Sunbelt region at advantageous pricing and significant discount to replacement cost,” said Stanley J. Olander, CEO of Landmark Apartment Trust of America. “We plan to leverage our deep local market knowledge and our proven redevelopment capabilities to create incremental value at each property.”

The third transaction in this list of recent acquisitions closed July 1, and consisted of four properties totaling 1,006 units. Two of the properties are located in Charlotte, N.C., one in Jacksonville, Fla., while the fourth is located at 8412 Rio Bravo Court in Tampa, Fla.

The 296-unit Landmark at Courtyards on the River in Tampa, Fla. is a gated community with controlled access, built in 1972. One-, two- and three-bedroom units are equipped with frost-free refrigerators, gourmet kitchens and large walk-in closets. The property also lists 24-hour emergency maintenance, clothes care center, fitness center, tennis court and swimming pool as community privileges.

Joseph Lubeck, executive chairman of Landmark Apartment Trust, added, “These acquisitions presented an attractive opportunity to grow our portfolio in markets where we already have a strong presence and considerable insight. Our dedicated and experienced team has a strong track record of unlocking asset value in these markets, and this provides us with a significant competitive advantage.”

Hillsborough County Enters Race for 1M-Sq.-Ft. Amazon Facility

25 Jun 2013, 7:46 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

Amazon’s plan of expanding in Florida—and of adding 3,000 permanent jobs in the process—might bring an assembly and distribution center to Hillsborough County.

According to a recent announcement made by Gov. Rick Scott, the online retail giant has already signed a deal that calls for a $300 million investment in the state of Florida, but did not disclose the exact location.

Nevertheless, Hillsborough County officials said that Amazon is looking into the possibility of developing a 1 million-square-foot facility in the South Shore Corporate Park located at Interstate 75 and State Rd 674.

While Amazon has not made any official announcement, nor has it hinted at a specific date when it will make its decision, the company qualifies for an incentive package. While the property tax break is reportedly worth approximately $910,000 a year for the following seven years, commissioners will vote on that during their July 17 meeting, reports The Tampa Tribune.

Amazon’s presence on the Florida market could bring many jobs and an investment of up to $200 million, but it would also mean that its Florida customers will have to start paying taxes on their Internet purchases. Current regulation states that the collection of sale taxes following online purchase is only possible if a company has a physical presence in a state.

Wells Fargo Center Welcomes New Tenants, Renews Existing Leases

31 May 2013, 9:51 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate EditorWells Fargo Center Tampa

The millions of dollars spent on modernizing Wells Fargo Center in downtown Tampa seem to be paying off as the tower has attracted two new tenants, as well as renewed two existing leases.

One of the nation’s largest law firms, Jackson Lewis LLP, will soon be moving into the tower, after having signed a 6,277 –square-foot lease. The firm, who opened its first Tampa office earlier this year in temporary office space in the Westshore Business District will soon be relocating to the 22-story building. Co-brokers Brian Wyatt and Ryan Reynolds of Cassidy Turley represented Jackson Lewis in the transaction.

First Florida Insurance Brokers—a subsidiary of Lake Mary-based First Florida Insurance Brokers—will also be relocating to Wells Fargo Center after signing a lease for a lease for 3,100 square feet. Represented by David Culligan and Jon Slater of Studley Inc. the firm is relocating from offices in Channelside.

While USAA Realty has not only signed a renewal, but also a 1,776-square-foot lease extension, Gator Capital has also signed on to remain a tenant of the 388,000 -square-foot Wells Fargo Center.

Located near the Tampa Convention Center in downtown Tampa, the 22-story, 388,000 square foot Wells Fargo Center is one of Tampa’s premier Class A office buildings with unobstructed views of Hillsborough Bay, the Hillsborough River and the Downtown Tampa skyline.  Anchored by Wells Fargo & Company, Phelps Dunbar and UBS, the LEED Gold-certified Wells Fargo Center is currently 78 percent leased.

Owners Feldman Equities, Inc. and Tower Realty Partners—which purchased the building back in January for $44.8 million—have recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation involving the modernizing of the building systems and telecommunications infrastructure. Renovations to the multi-tenant corridors, currently half way through, include new lighting, new carpeting, and bathroom upgrades.  Ownership is also proceeding with extensive upgrades to the building’s leasing amenities including a new restaurant, a high-end fitness center as well as a major upgrade to the parking building’s parking garage.  These improvements will begin this summer and will be completed by year end.

Redwood Capital Group Grabs Largo Multifamily Complex for $17M

18 May 2013, 1:59 am

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

Redwood Capital Group has recently added 304 units to its growing multifamily portfolio with the purchase of a 304-unit multifamily complex in the central Pinellas County city of Largo.

Jamie B. May with Institutional Property Advisors—the multifamily brokerage division of Marcus & Millichap—mediated the Landmark at Largo Crossing deal on behalf of the owner, a joint venture between Landmark Residential and Brookfield Real Estate Opportunity Fund. Buyer Redwood Capital Group paid $16,750,000 for the property, or $55,000 per unit.

“Landmark at Largo Crossing is a recently renovated asset that was offered free and clear of debt,” says May. “The new owner is well positioned to reap the benefits provided by the area’s resurgent job market, promising demographic trends and changing housing preferences.”

Located at 305 Glades Circle on the north side of Ulmerton Road in Largo, the property is part of a vibrant commercial corridor featuring office parks, shopping plazas and restaurants. Built in 1974 on approximately 10.7 acres, Landmark at Largo Crossing was renovated in 2011. Composed of 28 two-story concrete buildings with stucco exteriors and pitched asphalt shingle roofs, the community consists of 144 one-bedroom units, 128 two-bedroom apartments and 32 three-bedroom units.

Amenities include a resort-style pool with cabanas and a large brick paver sundeck, a newly constructed fitness center building, a multi-use sport court, a large laundry center, a car care center, an enclosed dog park and a spacious picnic and barbecue area.

Image via Landmark at Largo Crossing’s Facebook Page


Looking to Expand, MIG Real Estate Buys Hilton Garden Inn

25 Apr 2013, 4:25 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

MIG Real Estate closed on its fourth Florida hotel, adding the Hilton Garden Inn Tampa East/Brandon to its 11-property hotel portfolio.

The Newport Beach, Calif.-based firm is currently pursuing an aggressive expansion strategy, seeking core-plus, value-add and opportunistic investments in select-service hotels, grocery-anchored shopping centers, and office, industrial and multi-family properties.

“We are pleased to add the first Hilton Garden Inn to our hotel portfolio, furthering our relationship with the Hilton family of brands,” said Greg Merage, CEO of MIG Real Estate. “This is a very high-quality product featuring an outstanding location in a mature business park with direct accessibility to other nearby East Tampa employers, amenities and attractions.”

Built in 2002, the Hilton Garden Inn sits on a 3.53-acre property at 10309 Highland Manor Drive and consists of 152 guestrooms. The property features approximately 4,500-square feet of flexible indoor and outdoor meeting space, outdoor swimming pool, exercise room, business center, restaurant and guest laundry.

The location places the Hilton Garden Inn within the Highland Oaks business park, adjacent to an Interstate 75 off-ramp and approximately 18 miles east of the Tampa International Airport. Nearby attractions include Florida State Fairgrounds, 1-800-Ask Gary Amphitheatre, the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center and the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, all within three miles of the hotel.

Hodges Ward Elliot represented the seller in the transaction and MIG Real Estate represented itself. The property is being operated by Raleigh-based Concord Hospitality Enterprises. The financial details of the transaction have been disclosed.

Image: Hilton Garden Inn Official Website

Phillips Edison Purchases 2 Shopping Centers in Tampa Bay Metro Area

11 Apr 2013, 9:59 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

Phillips Edison-ARC Shopping Center REIT has shown a great deal of interest in metro Tampa properties this past week. It recently purchased two Publix-anchored grocery stores in the area.

The two new properties—Lutz Lake Crossing and Publix at Seven Hills—have brought the company’s portfolio to a total of 39 properties, with a portfolio aggregate purchase price of approximately $486.3 million. The company did not disclose the price of the recently-acquired properties.

Lutz Lake Crossing is a 64,986-square-foot shopping center located in Lutz, Fla., approximately 15 miles north of Tampa. The shopping center is anchored by a Publix grocery store, the No. 1 traditional grocer in the Tampa area by market share and is currently 86 percent occupied.

The other shopping center, Publix at Seven Hills, is a 72,590-square-foot shopping center located in Spring Hill, Fla. Anchored by a Publix store, the retail center is currently 91 percent leased.

Lutz Lake Crossing was not the sole Lutz retail property to trade these past days. Van Dyke Commons, a 139,347-square-foot retail center located at the intersection of Van Dyke Road and North Dale Mabry Highway, exchanged hands in a $30 million deal.

Buyer Prestige Properties & Development purchased the unencumbered property from seller iStar Financial Inc., which was represented in the transaction by Holliday Fenoglio Fowler’s Senior Managing Director Brad Peterson and Director Analyst Kim Flores.

 “Van Dyke Commons was highly sought after by investors because it was located in a primarily institutionally-owned submarket. The population growth and income demographics in the surrounding area significantly outpace the Tampa metro-wide averages. However, what really captivated investors was the strong performance by each of the anchors, shop occupancy, retention rate and the huge volume of daily traffic to the property driven by LA Fitness,” commented Peterson.

Van Dyke Commons, located 15 miles northwest of downtown Tampa, is anchored by LA Fitness, HomeGoods, and GolfSmith. Built in 2007, the 100 percent-occupied retail center also includes a 0.88-acre undeveloped land parcel.

Image via Van Dyke Commons property brochure


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