The Real Deal Miami

Mostly empty ‘town square’ near Tampa for sale

The bankrupt developer must sell the 11-building property soon or it will be auctioned

October 09, 2016 03:00PM

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Trinity Town Center

Trinity Town Center

An 11-building “town square” development in Trinity, a Pasco County community about 45 miles northwest of Tampa, is for sale following a bankruptcy filing by the developer.

The distressed property is Trinity Town Center, a 13.5-acre, Mediterranean style development with a pedestrian-friendly plaza and more than 150,000 square feet of commercial space, most of it vacant. The property’s sole tenants are Raymond James Financial Services and LifeSpring Church.

An appraisal arranged by brokerage firm CBRE put the value of Trinity Town Center at about $26 million.

The developer, Trinity Town Center LLLP, filed for bankruptcy in January. Under an agreement with the bankruptcy court, the developer has until October 28 to sell the property, or it will be sold that day at auction.

The developer’s unpaid debts include $13.7 million to lender Sunfield Homes and $1 million to Coreslab Structures in Tampa.

Tarpon Springs resident Bill Planes controlled Trinity Town Center LLLP until the bankruptcy filing in January, when he agreed to allow a fiduciary to run the company during the bankruptcy proceedings.

Planes bought the 13.5-acre site of the Trinity Town Center development for $5.4 million, or $400,000 an acre, in 2004. Construction of the center began in 2007, and in 2008, subcontractors were pursuing legal claims for unpaid invoices.

Construction of the development stopped and started several times. No construction has been done since 2012.

Planes served a federal prison sentence in the 1980s for embezzling in excess of $140,000 from a mortgage company in Hollywood, Florida. [Tampa Bay Times] Mike Seemuth