1. News
  2. /
  3. Business

Here’s a new twist on crowd funding - raising money to buy two Tampa Bay office buildings

Developer of Tampa’s proposed Riverwalk Place buys a pair of buildings in the Carillon center
Castille at Carillon. [Courtesy of Colliers International Tampa Bay] [Colliers International]
Published Oct. 8
Updated Oct. 8

ST. PETERSBURG — You’ve probably heard of crowd funding as way to raise money for medical bills, emergency housing or a trip to a big event by the local high school band. But how about to buy an office building?

Feldman Equities recently did just that, using money from multiple investors to help finance its $18.2 million purchase of Castille at Carillon. The Tampa-based company went through the CrowdStreet Markeplace, a crowd-funding platform, to acquire the two buildings in the Carillon Office Park in Pinellas County’s Gateway area.

RELATED STORY: Here are four big Tampa Bay projects you might have seen but (probably) know nothing about

"The concept of crowd funding allows for a much broader base of investors to enjoy the benefits of commercial real estate,'' said John Gerlach of Colliers International, which represented the seller, a Sarasota company.

In general, crowd funding or crowd sourcing pools small amounts from many individuals into what can become a substantial sum of money. Donations typically are made via web sites like GoFundMe and Kickstarter, often with the aim of helping a needy person or providing seed capital for a small business.

Crowd funding for real estate projects, both commercial and residential, began in the wake of the Great Recession while banks were still reluctant to lend. Since then it has grown into what Forbes estimates will be a $300 billion industry by 2025.

Feldman Equities, headed by developer Larry Feldman, and its joint venture partners own or manage over 4 million square feet of Florida office space. Among the holdings are several office buildings in downtown St. Petersburg as well as the Wells Fargo Center in downtown Tampa. Feldman also is co-developer of Riverwalk Place, a proposed 50-plus story condo tower along Tampa’s riverfront.

Castille at Carillon’s two buildings are connected by a breezeway and parking garage. Occupancy was 94 percent at the time of sale, with long-term tenants including Edward Jones and Electronic Data. The Class A buildings, on a 4.31-acre site, have a total of 104,897 square feet of rentable space.

"With shrinking vacancies through the Tampa Bay market, the Gateway submarket is expected to maintain high occupancies and rent increases in the future, making it an excellent area to purchase investment properties,'' Gerlach said.


  1. Frances Werner-Watkins Julie Rinaldi
    News and notes on local businesses
  2. Left to right: Oak Hill Hospital Anesthesiology residents Daniel Eskander, Wayne Simmons, Jeffrey Huang and Benjamin Segil. Katie Stacy/Oak Hill Hospital
    News and notes on local businesses
  3. A total of 131 employees are scheduled to be laid off in January as Locale Market and Farm Table Cucina close at the Sundial to make way for a new food hall created by the developers of the Heights Public Market at the Armature Works in Tampa. CHRIS URSO   |   TIMES
    In a notice to the state of Florida, Sundial owner Bill Edwards said the layoffs are expected to take place the first week of January.
  4. WeWork is opening Tampa offices at 501 E Kennedy Blvd. despite company struggles, including $1.25 billion in losses over 2019. SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    WeWork has 200 planned coworking space openings as leadership tries to manage $1.25 billion in losses.
  5. Florida's unemployment rate was unchanged in October at 3.2 percent, according to numbers released Friday. LYNNE SLADKY  |  AP
    The latest numbers were released Friday morning.
  6. Apollo Global Management has offered $130 per share for Tech Data's stock in an acquisition worth $5.4 billion. If regulators shareholders approve, the home-grown company will remain based in Pinellas County, where it employs 2,000 of its 14,000 workers. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Private equity firms like Apollo create wealth for pension funds, financial institutions and individual investors by buying assets that typically are sold later at a profit.
  7. Some of Tampa Bay's largest companies are being sold or are up for sale. Times files and Bloomin' Brands
    Tech Data is just the latest in a growing list of public companies bought up by out-of-state firms.
  8. Hillsborough Community College solicited "non-binding letters of interest or intent” last month from developers interested in purchasing the Dr. Gwendolyn W. Stephenson District Administration Center on Davis Islands. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    Developers have eyed the 3.7 acre waterfront parcel for years, but recent interest has prompted the college’s trustees to finally start the conversation.
  9. Tampa International Airport looking north. The Wall Street Journal ranked it the best midsize airport in America. [Times files]
    TPA took first place in the Wall Street Journal’s annual survey of U.S. airports.
  10. Tech Data's CEO Rich Hume (left) shares a moment with former CEO Bob Dutkowsky during a send off celebration for Dutkowsky earlier this year. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
    A private equity firm has agreed to buy Tech Data.