$2M sale indicates growing Manatee industrial market

WHITFIELD — A local property investor who purchased 7.5 acres fronting U.S. Highway 301 at Whitfield Avenue early this month has consolidated lands that could become part of a growing light industrial warehouse district near the Manatee-Sarasota county line.

Andrew Goodman, a Sarasota resident who controls multiple business interests, paid $2 million on Nov. 2 for the acreage at 2580 Whitfield Ave. The property is adjacent to and directly north of 12.7 acres he already owns along U.S. 301.

Although he is not certain about the property’s future, Goodman said it is likely that he will position it for industrial warehouse development.

“We have a lot of options,” he said.

Goodman is president of a heavy equipment dealership that does business at the larger property, which a company he controls purchased in August 2014 for $3 million, according to Manatee County property records. Centec Equipment sells cranes, bucket trucks, trailers and other vehicles used in the construction and forestry industries. That business is housed in a portion of a 23,500-square-foot building on the property.

Goodman’s newest acquisition is the former site of 1Stop Landscape Supply & Yard Waste Recycling Facility. John Desrosiers, 1Stop’s owner, was one of several family members who owned the property. Danielle Gladding, Desrosiers’ sister and one of the property’ former owners, confirmed the sale date and selling price.

Joe C. Hembree, a commercial Realtor with Hembree & Associates in Sarasota, represented both buyer and seller in the transaction.

Desrosiers has since moved 1Stop to 69 acres at 3207 71st Ave. E. his company purchased in 2012 for $2.1 million.

Goodman’s new property is at the northern end of a fast-developing warehouse district. Benderson Development Co. has built more than 343,000 square feet of warehouse space at its SRQ Commerce Park a few blocks south where Tallevast Road intersects U.S. 301. Also at that intersection, a Sarasota construction company has plans to build up to 160,000 square feet of new industrial property on former cattle pasture it owns.

Manatee County is further changing the area as it builds a new fleet transit facility on former farmland in the area.

The industrial warehouse market in Manatee County has been on a non-stop winning streak since mid 2011. As of the end of September, vacancies for this class of commercial property had hit a five-year low of 6.6 percent, according to data compiled by the Sarasota office of Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT. At the same time, lease rates have pushed to $5.77 per square foot for triple-net leases. That’s up from about $4.38 five years ago.

Manatee County is home to about 22.7 million square feet of industrial space, about 4 million square feet more than exists in neighboring Sarasota County.

Matt M. Johnson, Herald business reporter