TALLEVAST — A Canadian-based real estate investment company has closed on a land deal in southern Manatee County that could light up the pot industry in Florida.
Cannabis-Rx announced Thursday that it acquired three buildings on 9.26 acres formerly owned by boat manufacturer Genmar, totalling 209,000 square feet of commercial space at 7150 15th St. E., near Sarasota Bradenton International Airport.
“This acquisition represents a continuation of our strategy to acquire strategically located properties at a significant discount to replacement cost, rehabilitate the asset to increase its value and either sell it or lease it to achieve our target internal rate of return,” said Llorn Kylo, chief executive officer of Cannabis-Rx, in a news release. “Given the current push to legalize and regulate medicinal marijuana in Florida, we believe this well-located property would serve as an ideal location for a licensed grow facility and/or distribution center. Regardless of what happens in the state, we are confident in our ability to maximize the value of the asset.”
The company paid for the property Jan. 29 through Praetorian Capital LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary, for $1.26 million, according to property records.
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Cannabis-Rx was formerly named Longview Real Estate based in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Genmar ceased production at the plant in 2008 and sold it to Sarasota Real Property, a company managed by Beverly Hills Platinum Equity attorney Eva Kalawski, for $6.5 million in 2010, according to property records.
Cannabis-Rx filed to begin restoration work on the buildings on March 31, according to land records.
Cannabis-Rx owns 35 properties across Florida, Illinois, California and Washington and hopes to either re-sell or lease them to entitites that grow or sell marijuana for medicinal or recreational use, where legal. Cannabis-Rx does not grow or sell marijuana itself.
The average internal rate of return per property is 32.43 percent, according to the company.
The possibility of legally growing pot in Florida is becoming more likely. Florida voters will decide in November a referendum on whether to approve medicinal use of marijuana. A recent Public Policy Poll showed a 65 percent approval rate. The referendum needs 60 percent approval for it to pass.
A set of other boating manufacturing buildings nearby owned by Wellcraft in Tallevast were sold in 2012 by a Cape Coral company, JRL Ventures for $2.6 million. Medallion Home moved into Wellcraft’s former office headquarters this month at 1651 Whitfield Ave, after buying the building in late 2012 for $532,000.