Developers get $6 million county loan to build offices

A project to build two upscale, premier office buildings will get a $6 million loan from Pasco County.

The Pasco County Commission approved the loan agreement with Atlanta-based Land Investment Partners at its March 14 meeting in Dade City.

No tenants are pre-signed for the office space.

However, if certain performance goals in leasing the buildings are met, the entire loan could be forgiven. It is initially an interest-only loan, with a 10-year term.

Land Investment Partners plans to build two premier office buildings at Suncoast Parkway and State Road 54. Each of the three-story buildings will be 75,000 square feet. (Courtesy of Pasco County)

Each three-story building, described as Class A, will provide 75,000 square feet, for a total of 150,000 square feet of premium office space at the southeast corner of Suncoast Parkway and State Road 54.

The site is part of the Suncoast Crossings development property, and is north of Mettler Toledo.

The manufacturing company is building a 250,000-square-foot building in Northpointe Village.

Pasco County Commissioner Kathryn Starkey said she thinks that intersection offers an excellent example of development.

“I wish all the corners of all our interstates developed this way,” she said.

County officials estimate the project will produce 400 new jobs, and add about $43 million annually to the county’s gross product. Jobs from the project are expected to generate nearly $28 million in total salaries from direct and indirect employment.

“It’s nice and window-y and very pretty,” said Melanie Kendrick, the county’s program administrator for the Office of Economic Growth.

Under agreement terms, the county will wipe out $3 million of the loan if leases are obtained for 75 percent of the first building. The same terms, and elimination of the last $3 million, will apply to the second building.

Land Investment Partners will receive no reduction in principal if the goals aren’t met.

For the project to be profitable, developers estimated rents should be in the range of $32 a square foot to $33 a square foot. But, in the current market for that area, the rents realistically would only be $27 a square foot to $28 a square foot, according to attorney Clarke Hobby, who represents the investors.

“We’re bridging the gap to make it economically feasible,” Hobby said, of the loan.

Pasco’s Office of Economic Growth is pursuing a strategy of building a more diverse economic base that includes industrial and office projects that are more often seen in urbanized areas.

If this project is successful, Hobby said Pasco could “get more urbanized projects to come to Pasco.”

Published March 21, 2018

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