Atlanta Investor Spends $1M Improving Downtown Sarasota Office Building

A company specializing in commercial leasing and lending has invested $1 million in a downtown Sarasota building worth $20 million.

According to Greg Camia, an iStar financial VP located in the company's Atlanta office, iStar's $1 million investment went toward amenities such as security, onsite management and renovations to the first three floors of the 11-story building at 240 S. Pineapple on the edge of the Pineapple Square development.

"It was the opportunity to take a diamond in the rough and polish it," says Camia. "When we considered the demographics -- the high-net- worth individuals who live in Sarasota, the quality of life in the area as well as this particular piece of real estate -- it kind of set up the perfect storm for us.

"The building had been neglected for lack of money from the previous owner," continues Camia. "It was clear that it was an excellent asset in an excellent submarket with a great location that just needed some money. So we came up with amenities such as on-site management and a high-tech security system. We also created a common area conference facility.

"There are a number of smaller tenants in Sarasota, and for a 3,000-square-foot tenant it may not make sense for them to build a large conference room in their space that they may only use once a month. It's free to them and they can use it anytime they want. There's 625 onsite parking spaces and we can give a tenant five parking spaces for each 1,000 square feet if they lease.''

iStar completely renovated the lobby and its entrance, as well as the second-floor entrance and the second-floor common area. iStar also put in new elevator cabs and installed new bathrooms on the first and second floors. "And, we're going to do that on the third floor,'' Camia says.

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Greg Camia, iStar Financial

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