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Commercial Real Estate
Business Observer Tuesday, Jul. 27, 2021 1 month ago

Big Jim makes big play with North Port lots

Self storage operator buys 12 acres in growing Sarasota County city for $4.5 million for possible future development.

A Sarasota County-based self-storage operator has acquired a series of lots in North Port for possible future development, property records show.

Big Jim V LLC spent $4.5 million to buy roughly 12 acres at 2850, 2871 and 2900 W. Price Blvd., near Toledo Blade Boulevard, on June 24 according to Sarasota County property records.

Big Jim, an entity controlled by Dora Maria Thomas, bought the lots from Weedon North Port LLC, a group operated by Mark Sembler, of Tampa, records indicate.

Self-storage facilities have grown in popularity along the Gulf Coast and throughout Florida and elsewhere in recent years as more people are gravitating to apartment living, where units typically have less storage capacity.

In many cases, self-storage development tracks the path of multi-family rental development.

Big Jim operates a series of self-storage properties throughout Sarasota County, in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch and elsewhere.

In the case of the North Port purchases, Hembree & Associates Inc. agent Joe C. Hembree represented Big Jim, while the firm’s Stanley Heinlein negotiated on behalf of Weedon North Port.

In March of this year, Big Jim V — one of several Big Jim affiliates Thomas operates ­— sold a property in Venice to Life Storage LP for $16.9 million, one of several transactions the two entities completed, according to property records.



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