Lake Osprey Plaza up for auction in Lakewood Ranch

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- The Lake Osprey Plaza shopping center will be auctioned next week as Wells Fargo Bank tries to recoup proceeds from a foreclosure.

Real Capital Markets, through C-III Realty Services, has listed the 3.28-acre center for auction on its website with a starting bid of $1 million beginning at 1 p.m. Monday. The auction is non-absolute, meaning that the bank can reject the highest bid.

The shopping center includes 32,600 square feet of retail and was built in 2004. Wells Fargo and Credit Suisse First Boston Mortgage acquired the center through foreclosure from its previous owner Lake Osprey Village LLC. Sarasota real estate magnate Mindy Kauffman through her Red Property Management was listed as a receiver for the company, according to a business filing with the state, and previous filings show the managing member of the property was Norman Ferber of Evanston, Ill. Kauffman's business was released from liability after a $15,000 surety bond was discharged, according to court records.

South of University Parkway and just east of Interstate 75, the parcel is in Manatee County, according to property records.

A foreclosure suit showed that the owners of the center owed Wells Fargo and Credit Suisse First, $6.4 million. Lake Osprey Village purchased the center in 2005.

As part of Wells Fargo's foreclosure suit to acquire the title, the bank also named Medallion Homes Gulf Coast LC, Joseph Olivieri and Lakewood Ranch Town Center Owners Association as defendants to acquire the deed in March because of liens held or other interests, according to court records.

The strip center is home to a handful of businesses including doctor offices, Lucky Pelican Bistro and 20 Minutes to Fitness.

Virginia Phillips, owner of 20 Minutes to Fitness, said getting people to come to the plaza has been a challenge since it opened in 2004.

"We have wonderful people, wonderful businesses

in this plaza," Phillips said. "I think we would all love to see more traffic through here. We're a little bit off the beaten path."

Phillips also thinks more signs would help. The center also needs to be 100 percent leased. Once the 5,100-home Village of Lakewood Ranch South starts construction, the center will have residential traffic flowing passing by to add a higher car count driving through the business park and Keiser University campus today.

If built out, the Schroeder-Manatee Ranch project would be completed in 2034.

Charles Lee, who handles the auction for the C-III Realty Services, directed questions to the company's managing director Alex Waddey about the property. Waddey did not return messages seeking comment by deadline Tuesday.

Charles Schelle, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter @ImYourChuck.