Tampa Bay’s top real estate deals brought in over $1B in 2023

With news of investors defaulting on loans and office buildings shuttering, 2023 turned out to be a tumultuous year for commercial real estate. Tampa Bay remained fairly healthy compared to some other markets across the country, said Matt Siegel, executive managing director and brokerage market leader for Collier’s West/Central Florida region.

“West/Central Florida continues to see strong economic fundamentals and increased demand from in-migration,” he said.

The top 20 commercial sales brought in a combined total of more than $1 billion, with four properties selling for more than $100 million. Still, that’s a far cry from the more than $2 billion in commercial sales that Tampa Bay had in 2022.

Siegel said the slowdown was due in part to rising interest rates and an overall lack of available capital. Banks started to shy away from handing out the large loans needed to finance commercial deals which caused many investors to back off.

Looking ahead to 2024, there are some signs that business may improve. Inflation is starting to cool and the Federal Reserve has signaled that it may lower interest rates.

“There is cautious optimism,” Siegel said.

Here’s a rundown of the most expensive commercial deals of the year:

1. $220 million – Westfield Brandon Mall

The biggest sale of the year also marked the end of an era.

The Brandon shopping mall was the last Westfield mall in Florida. The Paris-based parent company Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield aimed to get out of the U.S. market in 2023 after struggling during the pandemic.

It already got rid of its Countryside and Citrus Park malls in 2020 after nearing foreclosure, but kept the better-performing Brandon mall.

With Westfield focusing its investments on Europe, it sold the mall at 459 Brandon Town Center Drive in May to North American Development Group, a West Palm Beach-based real estate firm. Westfield leaders have since backed out of a full U.S. exit, they told investors this summer, and plan to hold onto its remaining American malls for longer than originally intended.

Shoppers walk long distances as parking lots became full during Black Friday at the Westfield Brandon mall on Nov. 25, 2022, in Brandon. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]2. $203.9 – Bell Lansbrook Village

A North Carolina investment firm bought the 774-unit apartment community in July, according to property records. The company, Bell Partners, bought it from New York real estate company Osso Capital, which bought it in 2021 for $136 million.

This was a former condominium complex that was converted into apartments.

With the sale, the 85-acre area was renamed Bell Lansbrook Village.

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A view of the nature preserve behind a former condo at the Lansbrook Village neighborhood in Palm Harbor on July 10, 2019. [ DIRK SHADD | Tampa Bay Times ]3. $123 million – Urban Centre

Ally Capital Group bought the Tampa office complex in the Westshore Business District from Starwood Capital Group in May. While it’s one of the top sales of the region this year, the building sold at a loss. Starwood Capital Group bought the two towers in 2018 for $142 million. Ally Capital Group is run by Tampa real estate investor Andrew Wright, who also founded local commercial real estate firm Franklin Street.

The Urban Centre in Tampa sold for $123 million in May, according to property records. [ Courtesy of CoStar ]4. $108.6 million – Rowan Pointe

An equity firm specializing in undervalued and underperforming real estate assets bought a newly-constructed Pinellas Park apartment complex in September.

The Praedium Group bought the 349-unit property constructed in 2022 from a company tied to Alabama-based LIV Development, property records show. The developer bought the property in 2021 for $9.2 million, according to property records. The complex consists of seven buildings, each four stories tall, with a swimming pool, lawn games, clubhouse, game room, lounges, gym, pet park and a yoga training center. The apartments have modern finishes and stainless steel appliances.

The firm bought the property citing how much the region’s population has grown yet there has been few new construction of complexes near Rowan Pointe, said Chris Hughes, principal at Praedium, in a statement.

“Since 1990, only 11 apartment complexes (excluding Rowan Pointe) have been built within a 5-mile radius.” Hughes said. “Over 60% of the supply in a 5-mile radius was built in the 1980s and prior, positioning Rowan Pointe as one of the highest quality apartment communities in the submarket.”

Rowan Pointe at 7950 Park Blvd. in Pinellas Park was a newly constructed complex that sold for $108.6 million in September. [ Courtesy of Google ]5. $96 million – Azora at Cypress Ranch

Nashville-based property management firm Carter-Haston bought the Lutz complex in August from Cleveland-based developer The NRP Group, according to property records.

The NRP Group bought the property in 2020 for $5.6 million. The 328-unit luxury community finished construction in 2022. It’s within a mixed-use Pasco County development with retail, single-family homes and offices and it aims to cater to singles, young professionals and young families, according to Azora’s developers.

The Azora at Cypress Ranch on 17583 Bellavista Loop in Lutz finished construction in 2022. It was sold for $96 million in August, according to property records. [ Courtesy of Google ]6. $95 million – Avasa Grove West

Texas property management firm Venterra Realty Management acquired a Wesley Chapel apartment complex in September. They bought it from a company tied to Texas-based D.R. Horton, which bought the property in 2021 for $4.6 million, according to property records.

The complex finished construction earlier in the year and is situated next to Krate at The Grove, the shipping container shopping complex off of Interstate 75. Avasa Grove West features “high-end” interiors with quartz countertop, kitchen islands, screened patios, stainless steel appliances and large bathtubs or standing showers.

“We have seen excellent growth in the Tampa metropolitan area, and are excited to expand our Florida portfolio with the addition of the amenity-rich property Avasa at Grove West,” stated John Foresi, CEO of Venterra Realty.

Avasa Grove West on 27791 Dream Falls Drive in Wesley Chapel was a new construction located next to the Krate at the Grove, the colorful shipping container shopping center. [ Courtesy of Google ]7. $94.36 million – Seven Lakes at Carrollwood

Bridge Investment Group bought the 640-unit complex in October from Covenant Capital Group, according to property records. Covenant Capital Group bought the 1982 complex in 2020 for $51 million.

The Tampa property has two swimming pools, lake views and walking paths. It also features a clubhouse, car care center and a gym.

“With sales velocity significantly lower this year, it is rare to find communities of this size on market,” stated Mike Donaldson, vice chairman at Cushman & Wakefield who represented the seller. “Which is why we received over 20 offers from some of the nation’s largest multifamily owners.”

Seven Lakes at Carrollwood at 3303 N. Lakeview Drive in Tampa sold to Bridge Investment Group in October. [ Courtesy of Google ]8. $89.61 million – Boot Ranch Apartments

A company tied to Eagle Property Capital acquired this Palm Harbor complex in October, according to property records. The Miami-based investment firm bought it from Illinois-based Providence Real Estate, which bought the property in 2019 for $80 million.

The apartment complex is located near US Highway 19 and Highway 584. Eagle Property Capital has properties across Florida and Texas including the Gateway on 4th in St. Petersburg and the Captiva Club in Tampa.

The Boot Ranch Apartment at 1350 Seagate Drive in Palm Harbor sold in October for $89.61 million. [ Courtesy of Google ]9. $85.75 million – Azalea Apartments

This Brandon apartment complex sold in July while still under construction, according to property records. Chicago-based Trilogy Real Estate Group bought the 259-unit project from ZOM Living. The developers bought the property in 2021 for $5 million. The apartments are equipped with energy-efficient stainless steel appliances, quartz countertops and hurricane impact windows. The complex has a pool with cabanas, a relaxation area with hammocks, a gaming area, dog park, pet salon, a gym and an outdoor yoga lawn.

“Opportunity zone developments typically take multiple years to bring online and become cash flowing assets,” said Trilogy chief investment officer Jesse Karasik in a statement. “And we are thrilled to have been positioned to acquire this high-quality property in a booming market near its completion.”

10. $83.75 million – Tessa Springs

This Thonotosassa property formerly called Livano Uptown was also bought by The Praedium Group. The equity firm bought the 292-unit complex, it announced in August.

It was constructed in 2023 with seven residential buildings and four townhomes. The property has 578 parking spaces, 31 garages and three electric vehicle charging stations. There’s also a pool by a lake and outdoor lounges with TVs and fireplaces. Its “designer clubhouse” has a coffee bar, game room, 24-hour gym, spin room, yoga studio, pet center and private offices.

“Tessa Springs is located in the New Tampa/Uptown area of Tampa, a neighborhood that is not only convenient to many of Tampa’s most significant employers but is also home to many of Tampa’s most popular recreational destinations and retail,” said Shaun Houlihan, vice president at Praedium, in a statement.

The Livano Uptown apartment complex at 11810 Walker Uptown Place in Thonotosassa sold for $83.75 million and was renamed to Tessa Springs. [ Courtesy of Google ]11. $76.7 million – The Boulevard

An Ohio investment firm called the Connor Group purchased this 260-unit Largo apartment complex in February.

The company owns at least two other multifamily properties in the Tampa Bay area: Mezzo of Tampa Palms and Bayside Arbors of Clearwater.

“The Tampa market is one where we’ve been incredibly successful, and we are excited to expand our portfolio,” managing partner Larry Connor said in a statement. “The Boulevard is a Class-A asset, in an excellent location, and it fits our business model.”

The previous owner, Atlanta-based RangeWater Real Estate, purchased The Boulevard in 2019 and paid $54.5 million.

Amenities at the property include a resort style outdoor pool, a theater room, SwimSpa resistance pool, a business center and conference room and electric vehicle chargers.

The Boulevard, a 260-unit apartment complex at 2098 Seminole Blvd. in Largo, sold Jan. 20 to the Connor Group, an Ohio real estate investment firm, for $76.7 million. [ The Connor Group ]12. $75.9 million – DoubleTree Tampa Rocky Point Waterfront

This 291-key hotel located off the Courtney Campbell Causeway changed hands in January, according to Hillsborough County property records. New York-based Square Mile Capital Management sold it to Oliver-Cos, a hotel investor from Duluth, Minnesota.

The waterfront hotel was built in 1986 and features an on-site restaurant and almost 4,0000 square feet of event space. Square Mile Capital Management acquired it in 2018 for $34.75 million.

The lobby inside the DoubleTree Tampa Rocky Point Waterfront. The hotel sold for $75.9 million in January 2023. [ OCI Hospitality ]13. $70.5 million – The Shops at Wiregrass

Dallas real estate firm TriGate capital closed on The Shops at Wiregrass in April, Pasco County property records show.

This open-air mall in Wesley Chapel spans 760,379 square feet and features more than 100 retailers including major department stores like Macy’s and Dillards.

The seller was an Australian investment firm called QIC. That company acquired The Shops at Wiregrass in 2017 as part of a larger portfolio of malls.

The shopping center opened in 2008 and cost more than $150 million to build.

The Shops at Wiregrass on opening day in 2008. A Dallas real estate firm bought the open-air mall in April 2023. [ Times (2008) ]14. $70 million – Venue at North Campus

Seattle-based Horizon Realty Advisors sold this student apartment complex near the University of South Florida in October, Hillsborough County property records show. The company paid $46.6 million for the property in 2017.

Global real estate investment firm CBRE partnered with GMH Communities, a Pennsylvania company that specializes in student housing, to close the deal.

“We believe that this asset will provide long-term value to both the students who reside there and to our investors,” Andrew Glanzman, president of CBRE Investment Management said in a statement.

The property was built in 2012 and has a total of 734 beds. There’s also two swimming pools, a fitness center and grilling stations.

The exterior of Venue at North Campus. A global real estate investment firm acquired the student housing complex for $70 million in October.
[ ARIELLE BADER | Special to the Times ]15. $66.43 million – Interstate 75 and State Road 52

Double Branch Development Inc., based in Evansville, Indiana, bought 380 acres of land at the southeast corner of Interstate 75 and State Road 52 in Pasco County.

The property is just a slice of a larger 960-acre economic development project that will include industrial space, offices, retail, hotels and housing. It is expected to generate $600 million in economic impact, according to a news release by the Pasco County Economic Development Council.

In June, the county passed a $55.8 million incentive package for developers who build on the site. The sale to Double Branch Development closed that same month, according to Pasco County property records.

The Doublebranch Development will break ground next week on the first 100 acres of the nearly 1,000 acres of mixed-use projects at Interstate 75 and State Road 52 in Pasco County. [ Pasco County Economic Development Council ]16. $63.41 million- 6101 45th St.

An industrial site in St. Petersburg that was previously used by Amazon sold in Feburary, Pinellas County property records show. The buyer was an LLC tied to Atlanta-based Stonemont Financial.

This industrial space in St. Petersburg sold for $63.41 million. [ Google Earth ]17. $59.6 million – AC Hotel St. Petersburg Downtown

This eight-story, 172-room hotel changed hands in February, a week after it opened it’s doors to guests. South Carolina-based Greystar Real Estate Partners sold the property to OTO Development, another South Carolina company.

The hotel features an outdoor pool, a fitness center and a rooftop bar and restaurant called Cane & Barrel.

“Travelers love the…

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