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Tampa Bay Business Journal: Exclusive: Tampa restaurateur Jeff Gigante unveils new concept for Westshore

Tampa restaurateur Jeff Gigante‘s latest venture is Union New American, a two-story restaurant that will rise in the city’s Westshore business district.

Union New American is the first concept from Next Level Brands, a hospitality company Gigante formed with co-CEO Joseph Guggino and Tampa real estate executive Andrew Wright. The restaurant will be built on the site of a former office building at 1111 N. Westshore Blvd. That property, part of office park Westshore City Center, is owned by Wright’s Ally Capital.

The 9,358-square-foot restaurant will offer both indoor and outdoor dining and a “contemporary, upscale ambiance.” The second floor will include private event space and offer live music and dining in an outdoor terrace lounge. It will serve “traditional American fare inspired by global ingredients” and be open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.

Union New American is expected to open in fall 2021.

Read more from Tampa Bay Business Journal.

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Featured Deal Featured News

Next Level Brands to Open Union New American Restaurant in Westshore City Center

Next Level Brands to open its first restaurant concept in Westshore Business District Development

TAMPA, FL (APRIL 29, 2021) – Led by hospitality veteran and successful restauranteur Jeff Gigante, Next Level Brands Holdings LLC will open its first restaurant concept, Union New American, at Westshore City Center.

Demolition work is set to start today at Westshore City Center to prepare the land for the restaurant build-out at 1111 N. Westshore Blvd. The brand new two-story 9,358-square-foot restaurant space will feature indoor and outdoor dining. The build-out for the restaurant will be designed by Atelier Zebulon Perron, showcasing a contemporary and upscale ambiance.

“Located in the heart of Tampa’s booming Westshore district, Westshore City Center is the perfect location for our first restaurant concept with Next Level Brands,” said Gigante. “We are thrilled to be bringing a high-quality, locally owned dining experience to the area and look forward to introducing our New American cuisine and first-class hospitality to the Tampa Bay community.”

Union New American will feature traditional American fare inspired by global ingredients. In addition to lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, Union will have a second-floor private event space and offer live music and dining in an outdoor terrace lounge.  Union New American is scheduled to deliver fall 2021.

In October 2020, Gigante announced a new partnership with local entrepreneurs Andrew Wright and Joseph Guggino to launch Next Level Brands. The company expects to open several elevated restaurant concepts around Tampa Bay area focused on a culture of hospitality and centered around exceptional service and iconic spaces.

Tampa-based Ally Capital Group acquired Westshore City Center in early 2019 and selected Franklin Street to oversee leasing, management and project management for the property. Franklin Street has hired VCC, LLC for demolition of the existing building. 

The demolition of the Annex B building and existing two-story structure at Westshore City Center marks a crucial step in the project’s multimillion-dollar redevelopment.

“From the very beginning, Ally Capital Group’s vision for Westshore City Center has been to create a true mixed-use destination that blends newly renovated office campus with exceptional retail, dining and entertainment options that attract a regional audience,” said Matthew Chadwick, Director of Ally Capital Group. “It’s also important to us to support local concepts born in Tampa Bay, which makes Union New American an exciting and fitting addition to this property.”

Built in 1975, Westshore City Center is comprised of five office buildings totaling 300,000 square feet on 10.4 acres. Under Ally Capital Group’s ownership and Franklin Street’s management, the property has received significant cosmetic and structural improvements to create a modernized aesthetic and greater focus on walkability and outdoor space.

Recent improvements include new landscaping, pavement, and walkways across the entirety of the campus.  Ongoing improvements include new energy efficient windows, updated common spaces, elevators, and restrooms, with modern fixtures and artwork.

Earlier this year, First Watch, a Tampa-based breakfast and brunch café, became the first restaurant tenant announced for Westshore City Center. Heritage Insurance, one of Florida’s leading property insurance providers, announced in the fall of 2020 that it will relocate its corporate headquarters to Westshore City Center with an 88,643-square-foot, full-building lease.

About Westshore City Center:  Owned by Tampa-based Ally Capital Group, Westshore City Center is located at 1111, 1211, 1311, 1401 and 1411 N. Westshore Blvd.  Westshore City Center is adjacent to International Plaza and offers convenient access to Tampa International Airport. The location also provides excellent connectivity throughout the Tampa Bay area via Interstate 275, the Howard Frankland Bridge, and the Veterans Expressway.

About Franklin Street: Founded in 2006 during one of the toughest real estate climates, Franklin Street focuses on delivering value-added solutions to meet the evolving needs of clients. Through a collaborative philosophy of leveraging the resources, expertise and experience of each of its lines of business, Franklin Street has grown to include seven business divisions – Investment Sales, Tenant and Landlord Representation, Capital Advisory, Insurance, Property Management and Project Management. With more than $5 billion in transaction value across all major product types, Franklin Street offers unmatched value and optimal solutions for clients nationwide.  Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., the company has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and Atlanta. Learn more about Franklin Street at FranklinSt.com.

About Next Level Brands:  Led by hospitality veteran and successful restauranteur Jeff Gigante, Next Level Brands Holdings LLC will be a collection of innovative dining experiences designed to elevate the culinary landscape of Tampa Bay.  Inspired by the culture of hospitality, concepts will be warm and inviting gathering spaces with innovative cuisine and first-class service. For more information, visit:  www.nxtlevelbrands.com.

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Ask The Expert Featured News

Ask the Expert: How Can CRE Owners Receive the Most Favorable Outcomes when Refinancing?

Are you curious as to how refinancing could affect your insurance?

Franklin Street’s Ryan Cassidy, Managing Director of Insurance Services, explains how CRE owners can achieve the most favorable results when refinancing their property in the below Ask the Expert video:

For the latest in expert insights, visit the Franklin Street Information Exchange.

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Featured News In the News

Jacksonville Business Journal: Strategic Voices: Ricky Ostrofsky of Franklin Street Real Estate Services

The past year has presented numerous challenges to brick-and-mortar retail, but the recent growth Jacksonville has experienced is making its way into the commercial real estate retail sector as well…

To find out more about how the retail sector is reacting to these changes, the Business Journal sat down with Ricky Ostfrosky, senior associate at Franklin Street Real Estate Services, who specializes in retail landlord and tenant representation. 

What are you seeing the market these days?

Generally speaking, it’s a very, very strong market right now. I’d say our firm has been the busiest that we’ve been in a very long time. Starting in Q4 of last year, activity picked up significantly in the retail world, and it has not stopped at all during the first quarter and now going into the second quarter of this year. 

We’re seeing a lot of activity, a lot of national credit tenants that are extremely active in the market — and I attribute a lot of that to their ability to actual tour markets again, whereas earlier on in Covid they were restricted from doing so. 

Another aspect is that sales are doing very well in the market. I’d say we’re seeing a ton of activity, and I’m not seeing any kind of decrease in the rents, which to some people may be surprising. But we’re actually seeing rent growth in several markets. 

Why did you think growth started in the fourth quarter?

In Q4, we really started seeing an uptick just in terms of deal flow. I think a lot of folks in the industry experienced a bit of a stagnant level of activity around the summertime last year, because there was just so much uncertainty with the pandemic and how retail would perform.

Starting in October of last year, we saw a very sharp increase in activity and deal flow, and we had our strongest December in our leasing team’s history. That did carry through to the beginning of the year, and it was a very strong first quarter with the number of leases executed and number of land sales closed. 

If you’re looking at historical numbers, they’re at all-time high land prices for those transactions. 

Read the full interview from Jacksonville Business Journal.

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Featured Deal Featured News

Franklin Street Represents Atlanta-Based gusto! in Lease for New Athens Location

The lease marks the growing chains 9th location and first outside of metro Atlanta

ATLANTA (April 22, 2021) – Franklin Street has represented gusto!, an Atlanta-based, fast-casual restaurant group, in the lease of a 2,700-square-foot prototypical gusto! building to be built in Athens, Georgia. The new space, at 161 Alps Road, near the University of Georgia, will be the growing group’s ninth shop, and first location outside of the metro Atlanta area.

Franklin Street Senior Director Greg Eisenman negotiated the transaction on behalf of gusto!, with assistance from Senior Associate Jessica Branch, and has now represented the tenant in the procurement of seven of its locations. The landlord is Three B Associates, LLC.

“gusto! has become a local staple in Atlanta, well-loved for its fresh, bowls, salads and wraps,” said Eisenman. “This new location in Athens is a natural next step for gusto! and demonstrates the brand’s strength and popularity beyond its hometown. As alumni of the University of Georgia, Jessica and I could not be prouder and more excited for this homegrown brand to open its doors in the Classic City. We are pleased to have helped them secure the perfect spot as they continue to grow.”

Slated to open in late 2021, gusto! Athens is to be built from the ground up, with construction managed by Franklin Street Project Management. The location will be gusto!’s third with a drive-thru, following their existing location in Chamblee and one in East Cobb, slated to open later this year, reflecting a growing trend in the fast-casual dining industry. It will also offer counter-service with indoor and outdoor dining, as well as online ordering for takeout and delivery options through third-party partners.

About Franklin Street:

Founded in 2006 during one of the toughest real estate climates, Franklin Street focused on delivering value-added solutions to meet the evolving needs of clients. Through a collaborative philosophy of leveraging the resources, expertise and experience of each of its lines of business, Franklin Street has grown to include seven business divisions – Investment Sales, Tenant and Landlord Representation, Capital Advisory, Insurance, Property Management and Project Management. With more than $5 billion in transaction value across all major product types, Franklin Street offers unmatched value and optimal solutions for clients nationwide.  Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., the company has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and Atlanta. Learn more about Franklin Street at FranklinSt.com.

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Awards Awards & Recognition Featured News

Connect CRE Honors Tampa Office & Industrial Team with 2021 Top Broker Award

Franklin Street is pleased to congratulate our Tampa-based Office & Industrial Team of Chris Butler, Chad Rupp, Matt Alexander and Ryan McCurdy on receiving Connect CRE’s 2021 “Top Broker Award!”

The team was recognized as one of 10 Florida winners based on their outstanding performance in 2020.

The below except from Connect CRE demonstrates just a few reasons why Chris, Chad, Matt and Ryan are so deserving of this honor:

“In 2020, despite many challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team had a strong year, completing 132 total transactions (118 leases, 14 sales) valued at $188 million.

The team was Franklin Street’s top-producing brokerage team for 2020. This is a major accomplishment considering majority of the team’s business is in office leasing, a sector of real estate that faced many hurdles over the past year. The Tampa team worked closely with occupiers faced with an abundance of unused space due to work-from-home protocols and assisted with planning for the return to work and new safety measures. While some office tenants were largely expected to downsize or stall expansion, Franklin Street also worked with clients who were looking to do just the opposite.

One of the most notable deals the team handled in 2021 was a 90,000-square-foot lease for the relocation of Heritage Insurance’s corporate headquarters from Pinellas County to Tampa’s Westshore City Center. The full-building lease was the largest office lease in Tampa in recent years and brought Westshore City Center to 85% occupancy, up from 35% when Franklin Street first took over as the leasing agent in 2019.”

Read more from Connect CRE.

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Featured Deal Featured News

Franklin Street Arranges $41.55M Sale of 230-Unit Multifamily Community in South Florida

Covenant Capital Group Acquired Waterleaf Townhomes & Apartments in Port St. Lucie from Investors Management Group

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL (April 6, 2021) – Franklin Street has arranged the sale of Waterleaf Townhomes & Apartments, a 230-unit multifamily rental property in Port St. Lucie. Nashville-based Covenant Capital Group, a real estate private equity firm, acquired the asset for $41.55 million, or $180,652 per unit.

Franklin Street’s Tampa-based multifamily investment sales team of Darron Kattan, Zach Ames, Avery Jordan, and Mark Savarese arranged the transaction on behalf of the seller, Investors Management Group, Inc. (IMG).

IMG acquired the property in 2017 for $26.75 million and implemented a multimillion-dollar capital improvement program that involved renovating unit interiors as well as common areas and amenities. Renovated units have been attracting monthly rental rate premiums averaging $200. Covenant Capital Group plans to continue value-add improvements throughout the community.

“This asset commanded over 20 qualified offers in a non-core market, demonstrating the continued strength of Florida’s multifamily investment sales market, especially when it comes to value-add opportunities,” said Kattan. “With IMG’s recent renovations, Waterleaf Townhomes & Apartments is now competitive with newer rental communities in the surrounding area, giving Covenant Capital a solid foundation as they make additional revenue-growing improvements.”

Waterleaf Townhomes & Apartments is situated on nearly 22 acres at 1942 SE Hillmoor Drive in Port St. Lucie, a city on Florida’s East Coast known for its award-winning PGA Village golf resort, hosting the New York Mets’ spring training camp and proximity to award-winning beaches. Further, the apartment community sits right across the street from the 56-acre Woodstork Trail and Hillmoor Lake Park, where residents can enjoy shore-line fishing and walking / biking trails.

The property consists of 35 buildings, built in two phases between 1990 and 1994. Units range from 1,150 to 1,214 square feet, each with three bedrooms and either two or 2.5 bathrooms. Amenities include two sparkling pools, a brand-new 24/7 state-of-the-art fitness center, a dog park, sand volleyball courts, a playground, and a play court with rentable outdoor games. The property was 98% occupied at the time of sale.

About Franklin Street:

Founded in 2006 during one of the toughest real estate climates, Franklin Street focused on delivering value-added solutions to meet the evolving needs of clients. Through a collaborative philosophy of leveraging the resources, expertise and experience of each of its lines of business, Franklin Street has grown to include seven business divisions – Investment Sales, Tenant and Landlord Representation, Capital Advisory, Insurance, Property Management and Project Management. With more than $5 billion in transaction value across all major product types, Franklin Street offers unmatched value and optimal solutions for clients nationwide.  Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., the company has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and Atlanta. Learn more about Franklin Street at FranklinSt.com.

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Awards Awards & Recognition Featured News In the News

Franklin Street CEO Recognized as One of GlobeSt.com’s 2021 “Best Bosses”

Franklin Street is pleased to congratulate Andrew Wright on being named one of the commercial real estate industry’s Best Bosses by GlobeSt.com / Real Estate Forum! The 2021 award program honored leaders based on “their business acumen, how well they treat their employees and the type of culture and environment they set at their firms.”

Here are just some of the reason Andrew is one of the best bosess in the CRE business:

As the CEO of Franklin Street, Andrew Wright wears many hats. He is known as a driven and successful entrepreneur—he established the firm in 2006—and a storied industry veteran that has led the firm to close $5 billion in transactions, including $1 billion in 2019 alone. He also leads 250 employees, providing strong leadership in seven business divisions—investment sales, tenant and landlord representation, capital advisory, insurance, property management and project management. As the leader of the firm, he promotes a collaborative work environment and embraces new ideas. “Andrew truly considers Franklin Street and its employees as family and is dedicated to maintaining a good culture and the welfare of each and every team member. To Andrew, Franklin Street is personal, not just business, especially when it comes to its team members. He knows that without them, there wouldn’t be a Franklin Street,” says Kerrie Edington, executive assistant to the CEO. Other employees also commend Wright’s mentoring and willingness to foster internal growth. “Andrew is able to recognize talent and positive traits in people that they may not otherwise see in themselves, and that is a sign of a good leader in and of itself,” says Carrie Smith, managing director of retail at the firm.

Read more from GlobeSt.com

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Featured Deal Featured News In the News

Southeast Real Estate Business: IMG Sells Apartment Community in Port St. Lucie, Florida for $41.6M

Waterleaf Townhomes and Apartments is located on the east side of Florida and is situated 6.9 miles from Jensen Beach and 47 miles from West Palm Beach.

PORT ST. LUCIE, FLA. — Investors Management Group Inc. has sold Waterleaf Townhomes and Apartments, a 230-unit community located at 1900 SE Hillmoor Drive in Port St. Lucie. Covenant Capital Group purchased the property for $41.6 million. Darron Kattan of Franklin Street’s Atlanta office represented IMG in the transaction.

Waterleaf Townhomes and Apartments is located on the east side of Florida and is situated 6.9 miles from Jensen Beach and 47 miles from West Palm Beach.

Read more from Southeast Real Estate Business.

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Awards Awards & Recognition Featured News

NAIOP Honors Franklin Street’s Laura Gonzales with Distinguished Service Award

Franklin Street is pleased to congratulate Laura Gonzales, Director of Capital Markets in Jacksonville, on receiving NAIOP Northeast Florida’s 2020 Distinguished Service Award!

NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, recognizes excellence in the commercial real estate industry through its annual Best of the Best Awards program. The Northeast Florida Chapter presented its 2020 awards on March 18, 2021 at the Prime Osborn Convention Center Grand Lobby.

The Distinguished Service Award honors a NAIOP Member who demonstrates a strong commitment to supporting and collaborating with other members and helping connect their peers to opportunity within the commercial real estate market.

With Collaboration being one of our core values at Franklin Street, we are proud to have leaders like Laura representing our firm. Congratulations, Laura, on this prestigious honor!

See all of this year’s winners here.