Kennedy Wilson Lends $83M on Sarasota Apartments Build

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A joint venture between The Allen Morris Company and Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation (APFC) has landed $83 million of construction financing to build a Sarasota, Fla., multifamily building, Commercial Observer has learned.

Kennedy Wilson provided the loan on the joint venture’s Bayside Sarasota development slated for completion in fall 2026, according to Spencer Morris, president of Allen Morris. 

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Longboat Group, which acquired the development site at 850 Cocoanut Avenue in 2010, will oversee leasing and management of the project, which APFC and Allen Morris invested $55 million into last August, IPE Real Assets reported at the time.  

The 253-unit Bayside Sarasota project is part of a broader mixed-use project planned in Sarasota’s Rosemary District that will also include 2,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, some of which has already been leased to Atlanta eatery Fishmonger to open a Florida location. Property amenities will include a rooftop pool deck, fitness center, yoga room and courtyard.

The second phase of the project — a 96-unit building — is scheduled to commence late this year or early 2025.  

Morris said the goal of the project is to create a “hospitality-oriented, ultra-luxury rental apartment product” common in the New York market but less so in Florida where there has been big population growth since the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Since COVID there’s been a huge migration from the northeast down to different parts of Florida and these really high-end coastal towns on the west coast of Florida have been a net beneficiary,” Morris told CO. “Sarasota has undergone explosive growth over the last three years and that was part of the story that we were buying into.”

The development is one block from the city of Sarasota’s $200 million The Bay Park Redevelopment project, which involves the redesign of a waterfront park and performing arts center. 

‘This dynamic location is well positioned to benefit from the positive growth and improvement happening across Downtown Sarasota and we are excited to play a role in the continued progress of Sarasota,” Thomas Whitesell, head of Kennedy Wilson’s debt investment group, said in a statement. 

Andrew Coen can be reached at acoen@commercialobserver.com.