Developer set to market 84 acres in ‘jobs corridor’

Tambone Companies anticipates closing next week on its $763,966 deal for the exclusive right to market, plan and sell 84 acres in Port St. Lucie’s Tradition Commerce Center.

The Palm Beach Gardens-based developer expects to present the City Council several proposals next month to sell city-owned land for business development projects, said owner Richard P. Tambone.

“I look forward to beginning the process of marketing the property,” Tambone said in an interview Monday after the City Council approved a development agreement on the 84 acres with option to purchase.

“The biggest excitement for us, candidly, is that you have a city that is so pro economic (development),” Tambone said.

But Tambone declined to identify the companies he is negotiating with or their industries. “Until something has been signed with them from a letter-of-intent standpoint, I prefer not naming any names,” he said.

The impending deal with Tambone Companies is a major step forward in Port St. Lucie’s efforts to attract business development to 1,160 acres of city-owned land along Interstate 95.

The city acquired the land last June from Tradition Land Co. after the company disclosed it would no longer pay more than $5 million in property taxes and assessments.

The two square miles of land between I-95, Becker Road, Village Parkway and Tradition Parkway was dubbed the city’s “jobs corridor” in the 2000s and targeted for business development. The City Council picked Tambone Companies for negotiations last July after reviewing proposals submitted by several developers.

At the time, Tambone Companies said it had been contacted by several companies about land in Tradition. The potential projects included two office buildings, an industrial building, an entertainment venue and an assisted living facility. “I’ll betcha he’s got at least half of it at least handshake obligated,” Mayor Greg Oravec about the 84 acres. “I look forward to seeing what comes in as a result of this partnership. There certainly is plenty of opportunity in the jobs corridor.”

The $763,966 covers the city’s costs for the property taxes and assessments on the 84 acres for two years, the initial term of the agreement. The agreement can be renewed for three one-year terms for a total of five years. The developer will pay the taxes and assessments on the land for each year the agreement is extended.

The 84 acres is generally south of Discovery Way, east of Village Parkway, west of I-95 and north of the proposed Somerset Career Academy Port St. Lucie vocational-technical school.

The city and Tambone Companies will split the profits 50-50 on the land sales after they recoup their expenses. The city will retain ownership of the land until it is sold.

The deal requires Tambone Companies to present the City Council with a master conceptual plan for developing the 84 acres, including proposed parcels, roads and drainage facilities.

Tambone Companies may obtain land use, zoning and development approvals from the city for specific parcels.

The deal requires Tambone Companies to provide the council with an annual marketing and sales plan with a detailed budget and schedule. The plan must include marketing brochures and a web site.

Tambone Companies must also provide a dedicated marketing team to promote the 84 acres and manage the development and sale of the property.

In addition, Tambone Companies must promote the Tradition land in every major Florida market as well as national markets.

The deal also requires Tambone Companies to establish a local sales and development office within 90 days.

Tambone Companies would play the lead role in negotiations with all prospects, deliver offers to the City Council and help determine their financial viability. The City Council has the sole discretion to approve the listing price for any parcel and the acceptance or rejection of any proposed sale.

The council also has the discretion to remove land from the 84 acres for economic development projects or other reasons. The city would compensate Tambone Companies with comparable land in Tradition or credit for previously paid taxes and assessments.

When the agreement expires or is terminated, Tambone Companies will have the option to purchase any or all of the remaining land. The sale price will be set by an appraiser.

The deal is good for the city because it transfers the costs of marketing the property to Tambone Companies, said Community Redevelopment Area Director Wes McCurry.

“Most of that risk is being placed on the developer for marketing the property, coming up with a marketing program,” McCurry said.

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