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Tidewell Foundation puts Longboat office building on market for $3M

The building located at 540 Bay Isles Road.
The building located at 540 Bay Isles Road.
Photo by Carter Weinhofer
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After a recent business merger, the Tidewell Foundation and parent company Empath Health have decided the Longboat Key location no longer fits their desired business model. 

Currently, the building at 540 Bay Isles Road is listed for $3.1 million by Ian Black Real Estate.

Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Empath Health Kelly Allen said that the organization still wants to have a presence on Longboat Key, but no longer wants to be operating a space and managing leases. 

“The idea is simply that we’re not really operating out of that location,” Allen said. “And we really don’t want to be landlords.”

Allen said it’s important to note that the organization isn’t selling the facility to leave Longboat Key.

“It just doesn’t make business sense for us anymore,” Allen said. “That does not mean that we’re leaving Longboat Key in terms of our full-life care and the care that we provide to communities.”

Empath Health has what Allen called “community partnership specialists,” which she said is something the organization is looking to implement into Longboat Key.

That specialist would be responsible for building relationships between the local community and health care, according to Allen.  

“We’re not leaving the community,” Allen said. “We’re committed to serving the community.” 

The property is over 8,000 square feet and about 30 years old. It was previously purchased in 2019 by SCATA Real Estate LLC for $1.75 million.

SCATA Real Estate LLC was the real estate arm for Stratum Health System, the former parent company of the Tidewell Foundation. 

At the time of the sale, The Paradise Center worked with Tidewell to create the vision of the now-established medical hub that occupies the space. 

“It was really all by design who came into this building, because there was really a lack of those support services,” said Executive Director of The Paradise Center Suzy Brenner. 

Brenner said another deliberate plan was to have a rotating group of medical professionals. This makes it easier on the rent for those professionals; it also allows for a wide range of services in the building, she said. 

Plus, when heavy traffic impacts the ability to get on and off the island, Brenner said it's good having these services right in the center of the island. 

Currently, the Longboat Key location at 540 Bay Isles Road houses tenants such as The Paradise Center, Fitness Quest Longboat Key, Bee Ridge Chiropractic, Doc Side Audiology and the office of Dr. Daren Spinelle.

In 2021, Sarasota-based Stratum Health System merged with Empath Health. At the time, Stratum Health System was the parent company of the Tidewell Foundation. 

Brenner said she had long been in the loop of discussions around selling the location. 

“I found out a while ago,” she said. “Tidewell was very generous with how early they let us know about this, they didn’t want it to be a surprise because we’ve really worked with them from before they bought the building.” 

Brenner also said that Tidewell is not going anywhere, and she believes the organization will continue its service to the island. 

What’s next?

The Paradise Center’s lease extends until mid-2025, like many of the other leases in the building. 

“So on the one hand, we’ve got some time. But on the other hand, time flies and it’ll be here before we know it,” Brenner said. 

With recent stock market activity Brenner said she hopes an investor will look at the property as an investment. 

“A real estate holding that is fully leased is not a bad investment,” Brenner said. 

At the Dec. 4 Town Commission meeting, several commissioners mentioned they had been approached by members of The Paradise Center about the sale and possible opportunity it may have for the town. 

“It is an adjacent location that has some value, there is no question,” Town Manager Howard Tipton said. 

For Brenner, the idea of the town acquiring the center makes sense, but it’s also an idea with a personal component. 

Brenner’s father, Dave Brenner, was a former Longboat Key commissioner who was one of the first to get on board with the idea of a town center, she said.

The Tidwell property sits in between town hall and the Town Center Green, a project which is now entering its third phase after the unveiling of the Karon Family Pavilion. 

Aside from that, Brenner also said the building is an important part of the community. 

“The things that are in this building help support the community, but also some of the town employees,” Brenner said. “When they need physical therapy or that sort of thing, they don’t have to take the whole day off, it’s right here.” 

If the town were to consider purchasing real property, Town Attorney Maggie Mooney said the sometimes lengthy appraisal requirements would be something to keep in mind. 

“It’s certainly within our complex, so to speak,” Tipton said. “It’s just not on our radar in terms of financial. I’m not sure how we would climb that mountain, but it's certainly an interesting product.” 

Tipton also mentioned he has a meeting set with the Tidewell Foundation in early January 2024, and commissioners expressed interest in bringing up the topic at a commission workshop in early 2024 after more information is gathered. 



Carter Weinhofer

Carter Weinhofer is the Longboat Key news reporter for the Observer. Originally from a small town in Pennsylvania, he moved to St. Petersburg to attend Eckerd College until graduating in 2023. During his entire undergraduate career, he worked at the student newspaper, The Current, holding positions from science reporter to editor-in-chief.

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