Friday, April 20, 2018

Sarasota News Leader: Benderson breaks contract (again) Also: Englewood real estate fiasco

Two remarkable stories from the April 20 Sarasota News Leader (SNL):

Benderson Development, which acquired 42 acres in 2015 at the Fruitville / I-75 exchange at a paltry price, has just received not only another year's extension on a contract going back to 2015 (it now needs do nothing until 2019), but it also seems to have gotten a FREE PASS to degrade the market it was supposed to attract. According to the SNL:
The latest amendment also deletes language in the original contract that said, “Benderson shall use its best commercially reasonable efforts to market and lease the Property to Class A Building tenants.” 
The original commitment, renewed with both previous extensions, was described in 2015 by the Observer:
The prolific developer aims to build a multibuilding light industrial Class A campus totaling between 400,000 and 500,000 square feet of industrial, manufacturing and office space.
Now apparently that's no longer part of the plan.

Is Benderson going to come back after three contractual delays to disclose what it has planned for the Fruitville Initiative is warehouses and a truck depot?

Benderson Development affiliate granted another delay

Benderson Frutiville initiative
According to the Building Owners and Managers Association International, Class A space refers to the “[m]ost prestigious buildings competing for premier office space users with rents above average for the area. Buildings have high quality standard finishes, state of the art systems, exceptional accessibility and a definite market presence.”

Class B structures: “Buildings competing for a wide range of users with rents in the average range for the area. … Building finishes are fair to good for the area and systems are adequate, but the building does not compete with Class A at the same price.”

Class C buildings: Compete for tenants that require “functional space at rents below the average for the area.”

Englewood property purchased for a park sold at $1.5 million loss

A second SNL story finds that the County purchased land in Englewood, and is now selling it for $1.5 million less than it paid in 2007:

“When it comes to the management of our county properties … the way it’s been done in the past is at least not acceptable to this commissioner."
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