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Feldman buys Carillon office building

Margie Manning

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Castille at Carillon (Photo credit: Colliers International)

Feldman Equities has bought the Castille at Carillon, two Class A office buildings in Carillon Office Park.

It’s the first purchase outside of downtown St. Petersburg or downtown Tampa for Feldman Equities, one of the larger commercial real estate owners in the Tampa-St. Pete area.

It’s also the first acquisition the company has made in collaboration with outside investors through the CrowdStreet Marketplace, a crowdfunding platform. In June, Feldman and Tower Realty Partners said they were looking to raise $6 million from outside investors for the purchase. The company achieved that funding goal, said Mack Feldman, vice president at Feldman Equities.

The purchase price was not disclosed.

Larry Feldman, president and CEO, Feldman Equities

The deal just closed, Larry Feldman, president and CEO of Feldman Equities, said during a Thursday morning panel discussion at Bisnow’s Tampa’s Evolution event.

After the panel, he talked to the St. Pete Catalyst about the deal.

“We love the building because it is a jewel in that submarket. The Gateway submarket is the Westshore of Pinellas. It’s the best close-in suburb in Pinellas County close to downtown St. Pete,” Feldman said. “It is mainly back-office, large corporate users, but Castille at Carillon is more of a boutique front-office building and it’s institutional grade quality. Those are the types of tenants we typically market to, more of the front-office tenants. We’re not really plugged into the big back-office tenants, so that’s what attracted us to the building.”

Tenants include U.S. Trust/Bank of America, Cisco Systems and insurance provider Assurant, a Fortune 500 company.

“It’s very high quality tenants needing a presence in Pinellas County or in Tampa Bay,” Feldman said. The typical tenant occupies about 5,000-square-feet, “the antithesis of big back-office, jam ‘em in” offices, Feldman said.

He plans about $2 million in renovations to add value to the buildings. Renovations are still in the planning stages.

Feldman Equities already owns and manages five office buildings: City Center, First Central Tower and Morgan Stanley Tower in downtown St. Pete, as well as Park Tower and the Wells Fargo Center in downtown Tampa. The company is developing Riverwalk Place, a luxury condo development in downtown Tampa.

Carillon is in St. Petersburg’s Gateway area, which supports more than 2,700 businesses and 60,000 employees.

“When you have these nodes like Gateway, which are very dense with thousands of people working, you get that semi-urban node outside of downtown St. Pete,” Feldman said. “Our first love is —because I’m a New Yorker  — the urban environment, the pure downtowns, but some of these very close-in suburbs eventually will probably merge into downtown.”

Rising costs, including labor and land costs, also make it tough to develop new downtown office space.

“Our buildings in downtown St. Pete are becoming very full and rents are rising at a rapid clip. Some of the tenants who maybe live closer to the Gateway market will look at this as a lower priced alternative, but nevertheless being in a very high end building,” Feldman said.

While Castille at Carillon is the first acquisition the company has done through CrowdStreet, it earlier raised outside capital from investors for a property it already owned, Morgan Stanley Tower. Feldman Equities raised $9 million from 223 investors who now own part of that downtown St. Pete building.

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