LONGBOAT KEY -- The Centre Shops of Longboat Key are now in the hands of a Sarasota real estate investor.
The retail shopping center sold for $3.5 million to a company managed by Eric Howell, president of Lancaster Realty, according to property records.
The shopping center, 5370 Gulf of Mexico Drive, features The Lazy Lobster of Longboat Key restaurant, First Bank, UPS Store and doctor offices. The 5.7-acre shopping center features 250,840 square feet of commercial space built in 1987, according to property records.
Howell's company, FH Centre Shoppes LLC, used a $3 million mortgage with Englewood Bank & Trust to finance the deal, according to clerk records.
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The seller Centre Shops of LK LTD acquired the center in 1998 for $3.6 million from Ron Allen of NDC Construction Co., according to property records.
Siesta Inn & Suites has new ownership
MANATEE -- A budget hotel just outside Bradenton city limits has new owners.
Siesta Inn & Suites, 2303 First St. E., was sold to a company managed by Tarun Patel and Rahul Patel, who operate the Quality Inn Sarasota-Siesta Key and Days Inn Bradenton on First Street.
The Siesta Inn, rated at 1.5 stars on TripAdvisor, managed to have recent reviews from customers with claims of "creepy" "roach infested" and "worst place of all." The hotel features 234 units, a pool, restaurant space and tennis courts and was built in 1974, according to property records.
The Patels purchased the hotel for $1.5 million from First Resort Inc., a company managed by Yovall Augoshe, according to property records. First Resort acquired the hotel in 2003 for $2.2 million, according to property appraiser records.
The deal also pays off a 2012 judgment against First Resort from Choice Hotels International, whose brands include Comfort Inn and Sleep Inn, according to court records.
Choice Hotels was owed $57,584 from First Resort in a 2012 court case in Maryland, according to court records.
University Park Tire Kingdom sold for $2.7M
UNIVERSITY PARK -- A new Tire Kingdom opened on University Parkway has been sold for $2.7 million.
The Charlotte, N.C., developer of the building, Pavilion TK-Sarasota LLC, sold the Tire Kingdom to Sarasota Melrod Brothers LLC last week, according to property records. Records show Sarasota Melrod Brothers is registered to a Bethesda, Md., company.
The Tire Kingdom, 2615 University Parkway, replaces its location on North Washington Boulevard near downtown Sarasota and is beside Culver's Frozen Custard and a Starbucks under construction. A Dunkin' Donuts is also being built along that stretch of road with another retail building in the Town Center at University Groves.
Google ranked as the best place to work
Google has landed the No. 1 spot in an annual ranking of the best companies to work for.
The Mountain View, Calif., tech giant won the top spot in Glassdoor's seventh annual awards honoring the best places to work in the United States and Britain. The top-50 list, which looks at companies with 1,000 employees or more, is based on employee input.
Google is routinely in the top 50 -- it was No. 8 in 2014 -- but has never before won the top spot.
The 2015 rankings lauded Google for its corporate perks, high compensation, work-life balance and a high employee approval rating for chief executive Larry Page.
Notably, Twitter fell from the top-50 list altogether after being in second place for 2014. The San Francisco microblogging company has had management turnover, issues with corporate direction and unhappiness among some employees, particularly engineers.
Facebook won the top spot on the 2013 and 2011 lists, and Bain & Co. took it for 2014.
Staff and wire reports