Utah Company Buys Port Manatee Commerce Center


PALMETTO — The Port Manatee Commerce Center has been sold.

The six-building, 310,000-square-foot center is at the entrance to Port Manatee, the state’s fifth-largest seaport, and counts many port customers as its tenants.

Tenants at the 18-acre property include a mix of medical supply distribution, light manufacturing, agri-bulk storage, military contractors and other businesses.

The buyer, who closed last week, is an affiliate of real estate investor/developer The Ninigret Group LC of Salt Lake City, Utah.

The center is 98 percent leased, said manager Kevin Button, who will continue as on-site manager.

George Abood, a representative for Ninigret Group, said the purchase was an opportunity “to acquire a high-quality distribution facility in an excellent location at a discount to replacement cost.” Ninigret also expects continued growth at the port and in Southwest Florida in general.

“Important to me is the quality and care that the prior owner and builder invested in PMCC,” added Ninigret founder Randolph Abood. “It is a first-rate center that will benefit any tenant as it meets the test of time.”

The company said it has been acquiring properties in the region for several years, and the commerce center was its second industrial purchase this year.

The seller was Federal Port Corp., a Sarasota company headed by Stanley A Riggs, court records show.

The property, constructed between 2005 and 2010, features a combination of flow-through and front-load buildings with 26- to 29-foot clear heights, allowing it to accommodate a variety of tenant types, sizes and uses. It also contains such features as oversized cargo doors, aircraft hangar bi-fold doors, drive-thru access and 170-foot clear span, according to Cushman & Wakefield Capital Markets, which handled the sale.

“Port Manatee Commerce Center offered a rare opportunity to acquire an intermodal, transloading industrial facility directly adjacent to one of Florida’s largest seaports,” said Rick Brugge, executive director at Cushman & Wakefield. “The North Manatee market has become an increasingly popular choice among occupiers of industrial space, so this property is well-positioned to attract new tenants and experience future rent growth.”