Pic via Cindy Jean/IBRE
By Earle Kimel via Herald Tribune
VENICE — Gulf Coast Community Foundation is putting more than 300 acres off of Interstate 75 and Laurel Road on the market for $24.3 million.
Gulf Coast has owned the land for roughly a decade. At one time, it hoped to foster a workforce housing project known as “The Bridges” on 146 acres of that land, but those hopes died during the Great Recession.
In February, Venice Mayor John Holic floated a trial balloon that featured a rough, “back-of-a-napkin” sketch for workforce housing on that parcel.
Meanwhile Gulf Coast through Gulf Coast Strategic Investments — the arm of the foundation that owns the 301.14 acres — has fielded several inquiries from developers about the property.
“People were interested and we would talk with them,” Gulf Coast Community Foundation CEO Mark Pritchett said.
The number of inquires were taking enough staff time that the foundation decided to outsource its sale to a local commercial Realtor.
Ian Black Real Estate was the top finisher of five firms that responded to the foundation’s request for proposals to market the land.
“It’s definitely targeted toward a residential or a mixed-use developer,” noted Michele Fuller, a partner with Ian Black Real Estate.
The land — actually an aggregation of nine separate parcels — is one of the last large tracts of undeveloped land in the city of Venice.
Gulf Coast paid $16.1 million for the first 146-acres in 2005 then another $8.55 million for the adjoining 154 acres in 2007, so the asking price is just under the $24.7 million paid for both parcels prior to the recession.
In addition to that, Gulf Coast has sunk at least $7.4 million into development costs for The Bridges, which was envisioned as a master-planned mixed-use residential, commercial, entertainment and employment center.
The land is being marketed with entitlements, agreed upon when the properties were annexed into the city of Venice. Those allow up to 1,799 residential units and 225,000 square feet of commercial use.
Fuller said the target buyer is one large developer, who could then sell off parcels to other developers.
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