News Column

Bank sale may put Moccasin Wallow housing development back into play

June 30, 2014

By Matt M. Johnson, The Bradenton Herald

June 30--MANATEE -- A real estate investor known for buying and selling shopping centers in southeast Florida has put his money into a partially built residential and commercial project on Moccasin Wallow Road.

This week, a company managed by Tampa property investor Richard Trzcinski purchased a 200-acre development known as The Woods of Moccasin Wallow from Wells Fargo Bank for $3.6 million. The sale comes after the bank foreclosed on the property. Charlotte, N.C.-based REDUS Properties, a Wells Fargo affiliate, was seller of record.

Moccasin Wallow Holdings, takes ownership of a development that is zoned for 104 single-family lots, 268,206 square feet of retail and office space and 340,400 square feet of light industrial space, according to the agents representing Trzcinski's group, the seller in the transaction, David Berner and Bill Short of Tampa-based Southeast Land Consultants.

Trzcinski, who did some significant land deals in Manatee County in the late 1990s, said he has already begun working with Manatee County to restart residential development at The Woods of Moccasin Wallow.

"There's an infrastructure there for finishing out the residential component of the project," he said.

Thirty-one homes have already been built in the subdivision. Inland Homes, a Tampa-based homebuilder, has purchased a number

of lots in the development over the past few years, according to Manatee County property records. The builder has ongoing advertising at the development and online for its homes.

The Woods of Moccasin Wallow LLC, a New Jersey company, turned the development over to Wells Fargo after a foreclosure proceding two years ago, according to county records.

Located at the southwest corner of the Moccasin Wallow Road intersection with Interstate 75, the acreage is in the midst of a hotbed of residential development. Nearly 7,000 homes are slated for construction along Moccasin Wallow, including 2,802 at Taylor Morrison's Esplanade at Artisan Lakes, 1,999 at Neal Communities development The Villages at Amazon South and 1,600 at Eagle Point, a Homes by Towne project.

Berner said construction at The Woods of Moccasin Wallow stalled during the housing crisis and the land eventually wound up as a foreclosure. His company initially listed the property for $3.75 million. It was on the market for 18 months before selling to Moccasin Wallow Holdings.

Berner said the future is bright for the development now that the housing market has recovered.

"Eventually, it's just going to take off there," he said.

The commercial and industrial development planned for the land may have a less certain future. Trzcinski said he is evaluating the practicality of those types of construction at The Woods of Moccasin Wallow.

Trzcinski has been buying and selling property in Manatee and Sarasota counties for a number of years. According to Sarasota County property records, a company he managed sold the Jacaranda Commons shopping center in Venice in June 2011 for $15.9 million. A year later, another company under his management sold the Venice Plaza shopping center for $15.67 million.

A third Trzcinski company, WDO Venture, made numerous property purchases and sales in Manatee County in 1997 and 1998. The majority of the transactions involved residential property.

However, the company's largest transaction in the county at the time was the December 1998 sale of a Winn-Dixie store building at 1010 53rd Ave. E. in Bradenton. WDO sold the 64,000-square-foot building and 8.23-acre property for $6.018 million, according to county records.

In addition to running various property purchasing and development companies operating in Manatee and Sarasota counties, Trzcinski managers Primerica Development in Tampa.

Matt M. Johnson, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7027, or on Twitter @MattAtBradenton.


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Source: Bradenton Herald (FL)

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