BY: KEVIN MCQUAID | COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE EDITOR BUSINESS OBSERVER
Feldman holding on to tower
Speculation has swirled for months that Feldman Equities LLC, the St. Petersburg-based commercial real estate investment and development firm that plans to build the region’s tallest skyscraper, would shed its Morgan Stanley Tower.
Feldman and partners Tower Realty Partners and Second City Capital Partners added to the buzz when they undertook a multimillion renovation to upgrade the 190,000-square-foot building’s lobby, add a concierge desk, enhance elevator systems and restrooms and improve parking garage lighting.
When Feldman and Tower Realty bought the 30-year-old building in 2013 for just more than $20 million, Morgan Stanley Tower was just 65% committed.
Class A office buildings have been in particular demand among investors in Tampa and St. Petersburg in the past two years. This summer, for instance, Highwoods Properties paid $124 million to acquire the 35-story SunTrust Financial Centre downtown.
But Feldman president and CEO Larry Feldman says that while the ownership group considered selling the tower, no deal is in the works.
“We had considered a sale, but we recently refinanced the property,” Feldman wrote in a recent email. “We have no plans to sell.”
Feldman and Tower Realty’s next project is slated to be a 52-story skyscraper in downtown Tampa. Riverwalk Tower is being designed to contain ground-floor retail, parking, offices and luxury residences. It is slated for completion in 2018.
Tampa tower gets BOMA award
Even as world leaders negotiate in Paris to mitigate climate change, a Tampa office tower is receiving kudos for its “green” efforts.
The Building Owners and Managers Association of Tampa Bay has awarded Tampa City Center its “Earth Award” in its “Outstanding Building of the Year” program for 2015.
The 39-story tower, built in 1981, owned by Alliance Partners HSP and managed by Cushman & Wakefield, is LEED EB Gold certified and was recognized for air quality; green cleaning; recycling; and resource conservation.
A 1,700 square foot lease with Paradise Marketing has brought Morgan Stanley Tower in downtown St. Petersburg to 100% occupancy. The 17-story, 190,000 square foot office building was 65% occupied just two years ago when a joint venture consisting of affiliates of Feldman Equities, Tower Realty Partners and Second City Capital Partner acquired the building. Since the purchase and a multimillion dollar renovation the group has executed nearly 70,000 square feet of leases at the building. Notable deals have included Morgan Stanley, Enstar, Capital Resorts and RE/MAX Metro. The Paradise Marketing deal was brokered by Melanie Jackson of Colliers International. Larry Feldman, CEO of Feldman Equities spearheads leasing and redevelopment efforts while Tower Realty Partners handles management responsibilities.
“We’ve had incredible success in the Downtown St. Petersburg market,” commented co-owner Larry Feldman, CEO of Feldman Equities whose company’s focus has been on purchasing underperforming assets and increasing value through renovation and building upgrades while using their lower cost basis to implement an aggressively priced leasing program. “Of course one of the most important amenities has been built into the deal – the incredible downtown St. Petersburg location, continued Feldman. “St. Pete has one of the largest urban waterfronts, a truly walkable downtown with 7 museums, over 45 restaurants, a theater for the performing arts, a major league baseball stadium, soccer stadium and nearly a dozen marinas.”
This is the second downtown St. Petersburg office building the joint venture has renovated and brought to 100% occupancy. The nearby, 242,000 square foot City Center office building reached that milestone earlier this year. In a little more than two years following a major renovation, the ownership increased occupancy at City Center from 44% to 100% leased.
A third acquisition, First Central Tower is currently under renovation with over three full floor deals executed since its acquisition just a year ago – including Twinlabs’ relocation from New York. Redevelopment plans for First Central Tower include an extensive Gensler designed lobby renovation, upgraded tenant floor elevator lobbies, tenant corridors and restrooms. In addition, ownership is nearing completion of an amenity package which will include a new concierge desk, a state-of-the-art luxury fitness center and conference center. In keeping with current office space trends towards hip, high-tech spaces, space has also been allocated to a tenant lounge area with a 24/7 “chill zone” with the look and feel of a first class airport lounge. The lounge area will include soft seating, large flat screen TVs, iPad chairs and free WIFI. In addition, renovations will include a completely new modern elevator system, new elevator cabs and an upgrade to the air conditioning system. The parking garage will be upgraded with upgraded lighting, paint and graphics.
Read more in the Tampa Bay Business Journal
We are excited that Manning & Napier decided to renew their lease at Morgan Stanley Tower!
Tenants are enjoying the latest amenity at Morgan Stanley Tower. A brand new, state-of-the art fitness center.
sensorFact Services, Inc., a cloud based data acquisition and storage company for the Internet of Things (IoT), announced today that it has relocated its headquarters from Davie, Florida to the anchor of Florida’s High Tech Corridor, St. Petersburg. Categorized as “one of the top four high-tech employment centers in the nation”1 , St Petersburg and sensorFact Services have all the makings of a great fit with the city’s existing resources and the company’s current projected growth rate.
sensorFact has executed a five-year lease for its new principal place of business within the Morgan Stanley Tower at 150 2nd Avenue North, Suite 770, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701. The move was completed June 10th 2015.
“Although we took serious note of St Petersburg’s new residing talent, with their 6 percent millennial population increase in the past 5 years3, there are many factors about St. Petersburg and Florida’s high tech corridor that attracted us to make this move,” said Matt Horton, President of sensorFact. “It is true, that after our recent spin-off, we set out to find a home where we could take advantage of a talented base that is increasingly technology oriented, but we also wanted to find a diverse and flourishing economic environment that would be welcoming to a start up company like ours. St. Petersburg offers big city benefits with a small town feeling, and that means a lot to our team and their families who have all relocated here and are enjoying it.”
sensorFact Services will be joining the ranks of close to 20,000 companies2 encompassed by the High Tech Corridor. 180 high tech businesses already employ 9,970 members in St. Petersburg1 alone, allowing sensorFact the ability to tap into the local talent, technical resources, and already established friendly business climate found there. “Other companies are proving this area as a key factor to a successful business formula. As reported in the Florida Trend, other companies have successfully grown from less than 30 employees to a staff more than 2002 people in three years’ time. With sensorFact already positioned for similar growth, we are excited to be in a place where our company can really take root and have the local support we need to expand our business,” commented Rena Hafer, Vice President of sensorFact Services.
“Tech companies like sensorFact are drawn to downtown St. Pete for the quality of life it offers, not only their executives, but to their employees and families,” reiterated Larry Feldman, CEO of Feldman Equities LLC. “We are seeing a lot of interest from tech companies. Downtown St. Petersburg with its abundance of nightlife, restaurants, waterfront and walkable amenities is a significant draw for millennial employee recruitment and retention. You have a vibrant downtown, minutes from the most beautiful beaches in the world. The nation’s top industries are taking note.”
The new home of sensorFact is situated near the waterfront and next to the Sundial. “This puts us within walking distance of several business partners and a substantial community of services that make this town feel so connected,” Horton continued. “We’re fully moved and open for business, and St. Petersburg has been more than welcoming.”
About sensorFact Services, Inc.: Located in St. Petersburg Florida, and founded in 2015, sensorFact Services, Inc. is an IoT company that secures the collection and storage of sensor data while empowering its subscribers through a growing set of integration API’s and partnering visualization and decision-management products. sensorFact’s mission statement is “to solve the problems that create the barriers around storing and sharing sensor data, and to provide these solutions at a reasonable cost while advocating for the data owner. We will accomplish this mission by means of secure and robust technology. We will maintain relevance through exceptional customer service and ubiquitous integration opportunities. Our strength comes from employing the most talented workers, and fostering their personal growth and innovation.”
To learn more about sensorFact Services, Inc., please visit www.sensorFact.com
1. City of St. Petersburg, stpete.org, “St. Petersburg anchors the Florida High Tech Corridor. One of the top four high-tech employment centers in the nation.,” June 12, 2015, http://www.stpete.org/city_overview/information_technologies.php
2. See Amy Keller, Florida Trend, “High-Tech Corridor: Florida’s I-4 corridor is a high tech hotbeb”, 9/10/2013,http://www.floridatrend.com/article/16071/floridas-i-4-corridor-is-a-high-tech-hotbed
3. See, Tampa Bay Business Journal, “St. Petersburg ‘Best for Millennial Workers’”, Jan 29, 2015 ,http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/blog/morning-edition/2015/01/st-petersburg-best-for-millennial-workers.html
Wow check out Bay National Title’s new space at Morgan Stanley Tower!
Re/Max Metro celebrated the ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening celebration of their new offices at Morgan Stanley Tower which was attended by St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman. Be sure to check out their cool offices! Welcome to Morgan Stanley Tower!!
Congratulations to current tenant, Stanley Reid Consulting, on the expansion of their new offices! In addition we are pleased to report new leases with Regions, Kolter & Benefits Group!