- December 19, 2016
Ringling College of Art and Design has ratcheted up its land acquisitions this month with the purchase of more than a half-acre of property on North Tamiami Trail.
The institution bought two vacant parcels on the 2700 block of the North Trail— which is across U.S. 41 from its main entrance — for $550,000 last week. That purchase brings the amount the school has spent on new property to more than $1 million this year.
Ringling spokesman Rich Schineller said the school does not have immediate plans for the properties, which at one time housed a gas station and tattoo parlor.
The school got the land at a steep discount, said Michael Saunders & Co. agent Lee DeLieto Jr., whose father Lee DeLieto brokered the sale. The two parcels each sold for more than $1.1 million between 2006 and 2008.
DeLieto Jr. said the price is indicative of the of the cyclical nature of real estate on the North Trail, which has seen an uptick in development interest this year.
Local developer Elia Rofail is planning a $3 million apartment complex at the intersection of 24th Street and North Tamiami Trail, which is two blocks south of Ringling’s new property. The 33-unit, three-story structure would take the place of the Monterey Village Motel, part of which was built in 1940.
Further south, prolific developer Jim Bridges hopes to redevelop more than eight acres into 150 condominiums with boat slips along Whitaker Bayou.
And Ringling is moving ahead with parking on the North Trail to supplement the proposed $10 million, 38,000-square-foot Richard and Barbara Basch Visual Art Center. The institution has applied for an off-site parking agreement for 126 new parking spaces on the east side of U.S. 41 north of the campus book store.
The school acquired the property required for that project for about $4 million over the last decade.