Manatee ready to deal surplus property

skennedy@bradenton.comAugust 27, 2013 

BRADENTON -- Manatee County commissioners Tuesday are expected to consider the proposed high bid of $401,813 for a sale of a surplus county property.

The building at 530 13th St. W. dates to 1922 and was previously called the Bradenton Office Center, according to the county website.

The property was used to store county records.

"The plan was basically to make some repairs, improvements, sprinklers, and put it up for rent, and see if we can find several tenants who like downtown as much as we do," said prospective buyer Vincent Crisci, a partner in Swift 530 LLC of Florida.

"It's a nice-looking building, a beautiful street, a historic district," Crisci added. "It's hard to not find it very compelling."

In April, a company affiliated with Crisci also bought for $210,000 the Foster Drugs & Surgical Supplies building in the same block at 540 13th St. W. The venerable independent drug store, dating at least to the 1930s, closed last year.

Crisci said his shopping spree had been encouraged by Dave Gustafson, executive director of Bradenton's Downtown Development Authority.

"It demonstrates that what we are doing right now is making a difference in the community and (among) people outside the community," said Gustafson.

He said it shows people are willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in recognition of the present and future value of downtown Bradenton.

Crisci said when he was considering buying the property, he was leery about whether there was sufficient parking, but Gustafson showed him at least 366 public parking spaces within two blocks of the building.

"People have this concept there's no parking, but that's not true," said Crisci. "It's nice things are happening downtown again."

Crisci's rental agent will be Stan Rutstein with ReMax, who said an increasing number of pluses in downtown Bradenton made the area newly attractive to buyers.

"We believe very strongly that downtown has a much more positive future," said Rutstein. "Vince, I think, shares that feeling."

Crisci also has bought the Kiwanis club, 1401 21st Ave. W. with a Kiwanis-owned lot at 2121 14th St. W,, for $275,000.

Crisci owns other residential and commercial holdings in the area, including the Palma Sola Square shopping center anchored by Sweetbay and Starbucks on Manatee Avenue.

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrites.

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