Article

Modernizing Main Street

By Hannah Wallace October 31, 2008

International developer Finergy Development made a splash in Sarasota when the company converted a derelict, partially-built assisted living facility on

Fruitville Road
into an upscale Homewood Suites a few years ago. Now the company is revitalizing
east Main Street
with its sleek new four-story headquarters. Finergy Trade Center is located at
2170 Main St.
within view of Kane Plaza, which anchors its eastern end. Finergy will occupy half of the top floor of the 15,000-square-foot building.

“We were looking to establish our own headquarters and we wanted it to be in downtown Sarasota,” says executive vice president Eric Collin. “All of our projects are within a 10-mile radius from downtown.”

In a nod to Sarasota’s modernist architectural history, Finergy chose John Pichette of Halflants + Pichette Architects to design a modern building for a compact lot. “We tried to maximize the square footage they would have to lease out,” Pichette says, “and break up the massing of the building.” The boxed-shaped accents are painted the signature bright orange of Finergy’s logo.

Pichette concentrated window space at the street level for potential retail shops. “On each floor we have windows that look down

Main Street
. The windows had to be placed with care to both shield views and to guide views,” he says.

Finergy Trade Center is being marketed as an office condominium complex with a premier address. The Finergy Group financed the $4.8 million building in-house, and can offer owner financing. As a result, the company is promoting a lease program that credits a portion of each month’s rent toward purchase with an option to buy after three years. The sale price is locked in at the time the lease is signed.

“The lease purchase is nonbinding,” says broker Steve Pileggi of Pileggi Realty Group. “It’s just a better deal all the way around.”

Four first-floor units range from 448 square feet to 942 square feet, but they can also be combined. The fourth floor, which will be partially occupied by Finergy, includes a 1,315-square-foot mezzanine. At a price of $14 per square foot to the mid-$20s, triple net, the market is geared to professionals. “We get a lot of lawyers because it’s close to the county courthouse and county administration building,” Pileggi says.

Amenities include a common conference room with a flat screen monitor and LEED certification features, such as bicycle racks and a shower and changing room for employees who bike to work. Tenants will have rear access to

Ringling Boulevard
and nearby Payne Park.

Leased parking (48 spaces) is divided among three private lots, including the planned Kane Plaza parking garage, which is under construction. Firmo Construction, Finergy’s in-house construction company, is the builder.

Finergy Group (www.finergygroup.com) is headquartered in Lille, France, just north of Paris. Its main activity there is converting warehouses, factories and vacant apartment complexes into residential developments.

Here in Sarasota, Finergy is developing SRQ Innovation Green on 7.8 acres at the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport entrance on

University Parkway
and
Airport Circle
. The project’s first phase, a 108-room Hampton Inn and Suites, broke ground in early July. Phases two and three will include another upscale hotel and 200,000 square feet of retail and commercial space. Finergy is also developing a mixed-use hotel and condo project in Nokomis at
Albee Road
and Tamiami Trail.

“Finergy’s way of thinking is to buy location, and they feel

Main Street
is the best address you can have,” says Pileggi. “It will hold its value.”

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