2022 was a lucrative year for commercial real estate in the Tampa Bay area. The Tampa Bay Times reviewed property records from Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties and found that the 20 highest grossing sales brought in a cumulative total of more than $2 billion.
“Transactions coming in over $100 million dollars, 10 years ago that’s not something we’d be talking about,” said Danny Rice, a market leader overseeing the Central Florida market for real estate firm Collier’s. “It really speaks volumes to where Tampa has matured to.”
Heavy in-migration, strong rent growth and a strong job market made the region a prime destination for investors looking to turn a profit. Apartments and multi-family properties were a hot commodity.
The first half of the year was busy. Zach Nolan, managing director of JLL Capital Markets in Tampa said 2021 was a record year for sales volume and 2022 was on pace to exceed that.
But by the third quarter, the market began to cool.
“With inflation concerns and interest rates going up, that really started a pull back from a lot of investors who were just uncertain of where the market was heading,” Nolan said.
That trend is likely to carry through to 2023. Still, investors remain bullish on Tampa Bay in the long term as property values continue to grow.
While there may be fewer deals overall, Rice said buyers are still willing to spend big bucks on Class A properties in dense downtown areas.
Here’s a look back on some of the biggest transactions of 2022.
1. Novel Midtown - $236.5 million
This 390-unit apartment complex is the crown jewel of Tampa’s $1 billion Midtown mixed-use development. CBRE Investment Management purchased the property in May, a year after its grand opening.
The complex was developed by Crescent Communities and features 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom units. There’s also a saltwater pool, co-working spaces and a yoga studio.
“We could not be prouder of Novel Midtown and the impact this community has had on the greater Tampa market,” Tim Graff, a managing director for Crescent Communities, said in a statement announcing the deal.
2. Sirata Beach Resort - $207 million
Kentucky-based hospitality company, Columbia Sussex, purchased this 382-room, 13-acre resort in St. Pete Beach earlier this month.
The sale broke the record for the most expensive hotel sold in Pinellas County, surpassing the DonCesar, which went for $202.6 million in 2017.
For years, the resort was managed by the Nicklaus family of St. Petersburg. They bought a smaller hotel in the 1960s and overtime, expanded it into what is now the Sirata.
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The last owner, Texas-based Crescent Real Estate, bought the resort from the family in 2017 for $108.2 million.
3. Nine15 - $184 million
Located at 915 Franklin Street, this luxury apartment tower offers sweeping views of downtown Tampa and the Hillsborough River.
A limited liability corporation owned by Goldman Sachs bought the building on May 6.
The last owner was South Carolina real estate investors Blaze Capital Partners. They bought the building in 2020 for $120 million.
The 23-story, 362-unit building opened in 2017 and features studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments.
4. Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach - $141 million
When it opened in 2017, this project made waves as the largest development ever built on Clearwater Beach. It boasts 343 rooms, a spa, a swimming pool, a bar/lounge and 22,000 square feet of event space.
New York firm, JEMB Realty, bought the hotel from an LLC run by local philanthropist, Kiran Patel in March. A media release from the company said Patel would maintain a minority stake in the resort.
“The Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach is a fitting addition to our growth strategy in Florida, acquiring a best-in-class asset in a thriving Tampa Bay submarket,” said chairman of JEMB Realty Corporation Morris Bailey in a statement.
5. The Delmar - $132.8 million
Texas-based real estate firm Lurin bought this 689-unit waterfront apartment complex in June. Commercial real estate firm Berkadia facilitated the deal.
“The new owner has plans to renovate units and enhance the property’s amenity package,” Jason Stanton, senior managing director for Berkadia, said in a statement at closing.
The property is located at 4003 S West Shore Blvd. and features studio, 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom units. There’s also three swimming pools, a boat launch and a tennis court.
According to its website, Lurin also owns three multifamily in St. Petersburg: Elements on Third, Milo Bayside and The Morgan.
6. Skye Reserve - $125.5 million
Skye Reserve is a 982-unit apartment complex in Brandon that first opened in 1991.
Real estate investment firm ZMR Capital bought the property in March, according to Hillsborough County property records. The company owns at least three other multifamily properties in the Tampa area, according to its website.
In a statement posted to its website, the company wrote “ZMR Plans to bring the property to market along with implementing a value-add program to bring all units to an elevated finish level.”
7. AVE Tampa Riverwalk - $124.7 million
Korman Communities, a Pennsylvania-based developer, bought this downtown Tampa apartment in April, according to Hillsborough County property records.
The building offers traditional 1-and 2-bedroom apartments as well as furnished units for short term stays. Located at 160 West Tyler St., it’s walking distance from The Straz Center for the Performing Arts and Curtis Hixon park.
8. Wells Fargo Center - $120 million
New York real estate investment firm the Feil Organization closed on this 22-story, 393,649-square-foot in July.
The building was previously owned by a group of investors headed by Feldman Equities — which is headquartered in the building — and Orlando’s Tower Realty Partners. They paid $44.8 million for it in 2011 and spent $8.4 million on various improvements.
“We are excited to acquire a class A iconic property in downtown Tampa, which expands on our portfolio in the Tampa/St. Petersburg region,” Brian Feil, executive vice president at the Feil Organization, said in a statement announcing the deal. “We will continue to run the property at the high standards set prior the prior owner.”
9. Cortland Santos Flats - $119.9 million
This apartment complex near Brandon was purchased by Georgia real estate firm Cortland in March.
“Cortland Santos Flats offered a great opportunity to bring our resident-centric hospitality to a community that already had top-of-the-market finishes and amenities,” Clayton Doolittle, director of investments for Cortland said in a statement. "
The property has 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom units. Other features include a resort-style pool and a dog park.
10. Bleecker Hyde Park - $115 million
Bleecker Hyde Park is a 259-unit apartment complex located at 1702 W Cleveland St. in Tampa.
According to Hillsborough County property records, the property was purchased by a Dallas LLC with ties to the real estate investment firm Conti Capital. The sale was recorded in May.
The seller was New Jersey-based Raia Capital Management. That company bought the apartments in 2017 for $64.5 million.
11. The Enclave at Tranquility Lakes - $98 million
Located off Interstate 75 in Riverview, these apartments sold to Philadelphia real estate investment firm IRT Living in September.
The company owns several apartment properties in Tampa Bay, including Lucerne in Brandon, the Lakes of Northdale in Carrollwood and Rocky Creek and Vantage on Hillsborough in Tampa’s Rocky Point area.
The Enclave at Tranquility lakes has 348 units ranging from one to three bedrooms. The property has two lakes, a volley ball court and an outdoor kitchen.
12. Avidity Living - $97.5 million
These apartments in Land O’ Lakes sold in October. The buyer, according to Pasco County property records, is a New York based company called ACIF I AVIDITY LLC.
The property has one and two bedroom apartments as well as a saltwater pool, a fitness center and a bocce court, according to its website.
13. StrawBerry Ridge - $90.8 million
StrawBerry Ridge is a 55-plus manufactured home community in Dover. The property spans more than 130 acres, according to Hillsborough County property records.
An LLC run by Arizona developer, Cove Communities, bought the community in October.
14. Ybor Lofts - $90.6 million
This 240-unit apartment complex is located at 1512 E 12th Avenue in Ybor City.
It was sold to a New York limited liability corporation called Ybor LL LLC in April, according to Hillsborough County property records.
The apartments were built in 2018 by Florida developer, the Bainbridge Cos. Bainbridge sold the property to New York investor, GMF Capital in 2020 for $58 million.
15. Amelia at Westshore - $90 million
Amelia at Westshore was purchased by two Chicago based LLCs in April. Hillsborough County property records list the buyers as Amelia Investment Partners I LLC and Amelia Investment Partners II LLC.
This 246-unit apartment complex in South Tampa has one two and three bedroom units, a saltwater swimming pool, a fitness center and a dog park.
The previous owner was local real estate firm Lurin. That company bought the property for $67.7 million in 2021.
16. Dolphin Beach Resort - $84.2 million
Bryan Glazer, owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, bought the Dolphin Beach resort in June through the LLC, SCG Beach Hospitality. That’s according to Pinellas County property records.
The three-star St. Pete Beach resort has 173 rooms and was built in 1966.
“St. Pete Beach is the #1 beach in the United States, and we think that the future will only get better for the area,” Glazer said in a media release announcing the sale. “We look forward to maximizing the potential that we believe the Dolphin Beach Resort offers.”
This is the second local resort Glazer’s company has purchased. In 2017 it took over the Vinoy Renaissance Resort and Golf Club in downtown St. Petersburg.
17. Forest Lake Apartments - $83.5 million
An LLC called Campus Lodge Tampa bought this Lutz apartment complex in March, according to Hillsborough County property records. The company has a Lutz address.
There are 312 units ranging from 2 to 4 bedrooms.
The apartments were built in 2001 and were previously called Campus Lodge. The last owner, CR Tampa Property Owner LLC, acquired the apartments in 2018 for $59.5 million.
18. The Postcard Inn on the Beach - $83 million
This popular waterfront hangout on Gulf Blvd. St. Pete Beach was purchased by New York real estate investment firm LCP Group in February.
The 9.6-acre, 196-room hotel was built in 1957 and got a $5 million facelift in 2009. The property has more than 300 feet of beach frontage and a beach bar right off the sand. It also has a restaurant and lobby cafe.
“Postcard Inn is located in a highly desirable destination market with one of the highest barriers to entry in all of the United States,” LCP Group CEO Francis lively said in a statement at the time of closing. “The hotel is an iconic asset with tremendous upside in a market primed for growth.”
19. The Ivy - $78.5 million
The Ivy is a 336-unit 1002-bed student housing complex at 3434 Jefferson Commons Drive in Tampa.
Hillsborough County Property records list 3424 Jefferson Commons Drive Owner LLC as the property owner. Multi-Housing News reported in June that two real estate firms — Vesper Holdings and Fortress Investment Group — came together to buy the property.
The apartments were built in 2000 and underwent a redesign in 2015, according to the Vesper Holdings website. There is a resort-style pool as well as a clubhouse with study rooms and a coffee bar.
20. Lake 28 - $71 million
Tampa developer Primerica Group One sold this Land O’ Lakes apartment complex to a California real estate investment firm called Triwest Development. The sale closed in April, according to Pasco County property records.
The 252-unit property was built in 2004 and features a fitness center and spa, a volleyball court and a pool. There are one, two and three bedroom apartments.