Two more buildings have changed hands on Fifth Avenue South, fetching $7.2 million from a new investor on the swanky street in Naples.
Brookline Cos., with offices in Clearwater near Tampa and in New York, has purchased the buildings at 865 and 895 Fifth Ave. S. — the sites of First Florida Integrity Bank and Bha! Bha! Persian Bistro.
The deal is the latest in a frenzy of buying on the avenue over the past 15 months. More than a dozen properties have been sold since October 2015.
The latest sale reflects the continued importance and dominance of Fifth Avenue as "the key real estate avenue in our area," said David Stevens, a principal with Naples-based Investment Properties Inc. and a broker in the transaction.
"It seems to command still the highest dollars per square foot, both for land and building," he said.
The two buildings stand next to each other on the north side of Fifth Avenue South, near the Four Corners where U.S. 41 turns sharply toward Miami.
"Naples is a great market, and we look forward to joining the community on Fifth Avenue South and establishing a relationship with two prominent and respected tenants," Brookline said in a company statement.
The seller was Jane Parks as a representative for the Benjamin G. Parks Trust.
Ben Parks settled in Naples in the 1950s, becoming one of the first lawyers in the city after serving in the Air Force during World War II. He practiced law in the one-story red brick office building at 865 Fifth Ave. S. for more than 50 years. It became known as the Parks building.
With 2,660 square feet, the building now is the site of Bha! Bha!, which relocated there in 2012.
The building at 895 Fifth Ave. S., spanning 1,888 square feet, once served as a visitors center operated by the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce.
First Florida Integrity landed there after a merger with Shamrock Bank in 2014. Shamrock's main office opened at the building in 2007, when the local community bank was founded.
There are no immediate plans to redevelop the two properties or to change tenants, which both have long-term leases.
The Parks family contacted IPC to quietly market the two buildings to select buyers, Stevens said. IPC reached out to Brookline, he said, because its representatives already were "working on some other Fifth Avenue pursuits."
Brookline is a privately held firm specializing in the acquisition, development and redevelopment of commercial real estate. The company has investments in eight states and the District of Columbia.
William Yeomans Jr., a managing member at Brookline, said Fifth Avenue "holds strong intrinsic value."
"We like the properties," he said. "They are well-placed. It is a nice entry point into Naples and Collier County.
"We are encouraged and excited about future potential within Collier and Southwest Florida."
In October 2015, Stevens at IPC brokered one of his biggest deals when Hoffmann Commercial Real Estate, an established holding company with headquarters in St. Louis, bought seven buildings and a parking lot on Fifth Avenue South for $74.35 million. The company now has about a dozen properties on the street.
Hoffmann's most recent purchases include 630 Fifth Ave. S., a single-story building that is home to Kristoff Jewelers and the Vogue Petite Shoppe. The building, with 5,060 square feet, sold for $5 million.
In November 2015, Wisconsin-based Hendricks Commercial Properties LLC snatched up two commercial buildings on the street, paying $25.45 million. Those buildings are at 800 Fifth Ave. S. and 821 Fifth Ave. S. Combined, they have more than 50,000 square feet of street-level retail and office space at two busy corners.
The buying spree might not be over, but there are owners such as Hoffmann and Naples developer Phil McCabe who aren't likely to give up their investments on the avenue anytime soon, Stevens said.
"Folks like that have development plans and improvement plans, and they are not about to sell," he said.