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Regional Roundup

By Beau Denton January 1, 2011

Manatee County

New Recreation Center for G.T. Bray

Halfacre Construction Company completed a $3.5 million recreation center at G.T. Bray Park in Bradenton. The new building, which includes fitness and activities centers as well as the park’s administrative offices, is Manatee County’s second LEED-certified facility and was designed to act as a county support center during hurricanes. At 19,658 square feet, the building is more than 10,000 square feet larger than the previous facility.

Manatee EDC Gives $1.88 Million in Incentives

The Manatee Economic Development Council reported that the county awarded $1.88 million in performance-based incentive grants to 25 companies between Jan. 1 and Dec. 7, 2010. The companies are expected to create a total of 1,719 new jobs before 2016.

New Home for Palmetto Elementary

Palmetto Elementary School’s $17.4 million construction project was completed in December, after nearly 10 years of delays. The 107,437-square-foot facility replaces the outdated structure that had long been a concern for parents and staff members. The new building, which includes 955 student stations, opened in time for classes starting Jan. 4.

New Health Center Planned in Bradenton

Construction is under way for a new, 12,000-square-foot building in Bradenton for Manatee County Rural Health Services, a private, not-for-profit group that includes more than 40 board-certified physicians throughout Manatee and neighboring counties. The $2 million project will include clinic space and a drive-through pharmacy. Bradenton-based Stellar Development, Inc. was selected for the construction.

Manatee County Manufacturer Closes Facility

Donzi Marine, a powerboat manufacturer that moved to Manatee County in 1995, has closed its local facility and is moving operations to North Carolina in response to incentives targeted for boat companies there. Donzi employed 250 workers in 1995, but only 40 workers when the closure was announced in November; it joins Wellcraft Marine and Chris-Craft Corp. on the list of local boat lines that have transferred to North Carolina.

New Dental School in Manatee County

Plans are under way for a new dental school in Manatee County, next to Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Manatee campus. The $35 million project, scheduled for completion in 2012, will include a four-year dental school that holds 400 students. The curriculum will feature a community-based plan that gives students practical experience in local settings.

 

Sarasota County

Ringling Announces New Film Facility

Ringling College of Art and Design announced plans to construct a post-production film facility on the first floor of the Ann and Alfred Goldstein Center. Sarasota County approved a $1.75 million economic development grant for the new facility, which Ringling says will attract directors, producers and other film professionals to Sarasota to work with Ringling students. Several national celebrities, including Andy Garcia, Martha Stewart and Werner Herzog, are scheduled to visit the campus this year.

Five Companies Receive Economic Incentives

Sarasota County government approved performance-based incentives for the following companies: Venice-based Tervis Tumbler will receive up to $450,000 in tax incentives for plans to create 214 new jobs; Punta Gorda-based Adams Group, a commercial millwork manufacturer relocating to North Port, has been offered $300,000 for its plans to add 102 jobs over five years; Largo-based Resource One Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of environmentally friendly cleaning supplies through the southeastern United States, will receive $50,000 if it adds 16 jobs this year and 36 positions in the next five years; Swimwear Boutique, an online store, has been offered $50,000 if it adds 25 customer service and distribution jobs over three years; and RND Automation & Engineering will receive $15,000 if it adds two jobs over three years.

County/North Port Purchase Warm Mineral Springs

The Sarasota County Commission and North Port City Commission will share the cost of the $5.5 million purchase of Warm Mineral Springs, the 14-acre, 230-foot-deep spring in North Port, which is known for its year-round, 87-degree temperatures and its archaeological significance. Sarasota County will pay with a property tax intended for the acquisition of environmentally sensitive lands. North Port will pay its half with a portion of the one percent sales tax. The $5.5 million price is $1 million below the appraised value. The previous owner, Cypress Lending, will control the property for the next 30 months while local governments work out future plans for the tourist attraction.

W.G. Mills Acquired by Rhode Island Company

Gilbane Building Company of Rhode Island has acquired construction firm W.G. Mills. Much of the Sarasota company’s structure and management team will remain unaltered, but it will operate under the name Mills Gilbane and will facilitate construction throughout Florida for Gilbane Building. Prior to the acquisition, W.G. Mills employed 155 workers and earned $250 million in annual revenue, according to the company website.

North Port Waives Development Fees

City commissioners in North Port voted to waive $75,000 in fees for Creative Choice, a Palm Beach Gardens developer with plans for a low-income senior housing project. Current plans state that the $14 million project will include 92 units on U.S. 41. Total fees could reach $1 million; Creative Choice is asking for federal funds in addition to the North Port waiver.

New Sister City for Sarasota

A December signing ceremony formalized Sarasota’s new Sister City agreement with Merida, Mexico. Both mayors, along with local business leaders and the regional consul of Mexico, attended the ceremony. Merida, located in the Yucatan Peninsula west of Cancun, boasts a Gulf of Mexico setting and a strong commitment to the arts. The Sister City relationship is intended to increase communication and partnership between the two cities, ultimately to create new economic, cultural and educational opportunities.

 

REAL ESTATE

The homeowners association at Country Lakes Villages, a manufactured home community in Palmetto, has purchased the two parks from Country Lakes MHP Communities LLC for $31 million. The deal included 444 lots across the two parks that comprise Country Lakes. The property was last sold in August 1998 for $14.1 million.

Arlington Cardiology Holdings LLC has purchased 16 units in the Sarasota Medical Condominium on Arlington Street for $2.8 million from the Sarasota County Public Hospital Board. Arlington Cardiology mortgaged the 12,500 square feet of office space to Regions Bank for $2.3 million.

Joe Collins has purchased a service center, auto showroom, warehouse space and two vacant lots on Tamiami Trail in Venice for $2 million from CRM Florida Properties LLC. The combined 38,204-square-foot property was last sold in various stages between 1992 and 2005, totaling $2.8 million.

41 Bypass LLC and RD Venice Hotel LLC have purchased Venice’s Holiday House hotel from CB Florida Holiday House Holdings LLC for $1.3 million. The 167-unit property, which includes five buildings and a separate restaurant, was in foreclosure at the time of purchase. It was last sold for $10 million in August 2006.

4150 Bee Ridge LLC has purchased an apartment complex on Bee Ridge Road in Sarasota from Glenn Blome for $1.2 million. The 30-unit complex covers 27,520 square feet and was last sold in January 1995 for $1.1 million.

Vincent Payne has purchased two Sarasota buildings from City National Bank of Florida for $1 million. The two office buildings, one at 30,433 square feet and one at 9,898 square feet, cover 4.32 acres and were both vacant at the time of purchase. This is the first time the buildings have been sold together.

Robert Bridge, a St. Petersburg-based investor, has purchased the Fountains Office Center on 14th Street West in Bradenton from Bri-Lane Properties, NSC Properties LLC and CAC Property Investments LLC for $775,000. The three-story, 15,600-square-foot building was last sold for $975,000 in August 2003.

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