Commercial Real Estate Profile: Ian Black

Commercial Real Estate Profile: Ian Black



Ian Black founded Ian Black Real Estate as a boutique commercial real estate brokerage and management firm in Sarasota, following stints with Icorr Properties and Fred Starling Inc. Today the company is one of the largest commercial brokerages in Southwest Florida. Photo by Lori Sax


February 05, 2016

Founder and CEO,
Ian Black Real Estate

Ian Black Real Estate has been busy of late, and not just with the transactions the Sarasota-based commercial real estate brokerage and management firm has been closing in the region’s heated market.

In the past two months, firm founder and CEO Ian Black has named new partners, moved his office, sold his former business address and purchased an investment property in the city’s burgeoning Rosemary District.

His firm has also taken on additional lines of business, been moving into new territory and been involved in some of the largest deals of its 13-year history.

The moves come, too, amid a 30% hike in revenue in 2015.

Taken together, Black says the moves demonstrate the business is “growing up.”

“So much has happened of late that we need to make sure we don’t get ahead of ourselves, and I don’t think we have,” Black says. “We have a good team of people who work well together.”

Most noticeably, the firm moved its headquarters earlier this year to the 84,000-square-foot Kane Plaza office building in downtown Sarasota. There, Ian Black occupies 4,000 square feet and has rights to another 1,600 square feet.

As part of the shift from its long-standing quarters in the city’s Rosemary District, Ian Black also is spearheading roughly $10 million in renovations to the building’s lobby, common areas, bathrooms and signage with owner TerraCap Management, of Bonita Springs. The firm is handling both leasing and management of the property.

“We presented the landlord with a series of recommendations aimed at taking it from a (class) C building to a B-plus or an A building,” Black says.

To date, the recommendations are paying off with new tenants. When TerraCap acquired Kane Plaza, for instance, it was 76% occupied. Thanks to a series of outstanding leases Ian Black has negotiated, the building could be 92% committed by March.

“They’ve done a great job so far,” says Steve Good, a TerraCap partner. “They’re a good fit for us, and we’ve worked really well together as a team.”

While Ian Black has remained focused on Sarasota, the firm has begun chasing deals in Charlotte and Lee counties, as well. It has also expanded into tenant representation, corporate services and by taking on joint listings with giant brokerages like Cushman & Wakefield.

Internally, Ian Black has added partners Michele Fuller and Nick DeVito to its roster, bringing to six the number of principals in the firm. Black, 69, says the appointments recognize the strength and depth of the firm’s talent.

But the firm’s increasing business has really differentiated it. Late last month, firm partner Jag Grewal brokered the $20 million sale of a 30-acre tract in Charlotte County at the entrance of Gasparilla Island. The deal marked the largest in firm history, and came on the heels of its work in the $18 million purchase of the Main Plaza office and retail complex in downtown Sarasota late last year.

“When we made the decision not to have an internal leasing team, Ian was the first person and company I chatted with to do that,” says Fred Starling, a Sarasota County developer and investor whose 600,000-square-foot portfolio is leased by Ian Black.

“I’ve always been impressed with Ian and his team, and his ability to reach out, assess a deal and make recommendations,” Starling adds.

Black, too, has personally been making moves. Last month, he sold his firm’s office at 1069-1075 Central Ave., in Sarasota, for $510,000, and then acquired a building on the same street for $1.03 million through a 1031 tax-free exchange.

Black first invested in the city’s burgeoning Rosemary District in 1995.

And despite all the moves, Black says his ambition is that the firm will continue growing, and move further into tenant representation and receiverships, as well as asset management.

“I’d like us to continue to widen our base of skill sets,” he says. “We never want to be a big company and we know we don’t have the resources to compete in that arena, but I like to think that our marketing material and capabilities are on par with the big firms.

“We’ve had a lot to contend with all at one time, it’s true, but at the same time, we had a great year last year, so we’re thankful for that.”

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Young Sarasota Professionals weigh in on affordable housing

Source: Young Sarasota Professionals weigh in on affordable housing

Young Sarasota Professionals weigh in on affordable housing

The program surveyed its membership and asked how much it can afford to pay to live in Sarasota.  

 Picture via Sean Dreznin
by: Jack Short Staff Writer

SARASOTA FRIDAY, JAN. 29, 2016 22 hours ago

Sarasota Young Professionals weigh in on housing


The program surveyed its membership and asked how much it can afford to pay to live in Sarasota.

by: Jack Short Staff Writer

About half of a group of young professionals surveyed recently are thinking of leaving Sarasota – because it doesn’t have enough affordable housing.
Young Professionals Group (YPG), a networking and advocacy organization run by the Greater Sarasota Area Chamber of Commerce, comprises approximately 450 young professionals in the Sarasota area. YPG surveyed its members about housing and, of the 100 that responded, almost half said they are considering leaving the area. 
According to Mimi Cirbusova, coordinator for YPG at the chamber, the survey is an initial step in a series of surveys on housing the group would like to produce.
“It is a good snapshot of 21 to 40 year-olds and what their housing needs are,” she said.
More than half of the respondents, 62%, said they need one- to two-bedroom apartments that cost less than $1,000 per month.
Nearly half, 46%, said they were thinking of leaving Sarasota now, and the majority of those respondents were the same people who indicated they needed housing that costs less than $1,000 per month.
“That indicates to me those are individuals who are service workers or people in entry level positions,” said Cirbusova.
Cirbusova said she believes the survey helps vindicate concerns about Sarasota’s aging population and its difficulty retaining young professionals. Data released by Sarasota County’s Planning and Development Services in September highlighted those difficulties as well.
“When members choose not to renew,” Cirbusova said, “I reach out to them and often their response is ‘I moved out of the area.’ That is something we’re concerned about.”
In upcoming surveys, the group will gather similar data about the Rosemary District, and also try to determine if there is a correlation between where people choose to live, in Sarasota, and their income.


Owning versus Renting – The Onion

The Onion - Renting versus Owning

A Ron Swanson Holiday Wish

A Ron Swanson Holiday Wish



County presses forward with homeless shelter


By  via Herald Tribune

Sarasota County commissioners will proceed with its plans to build a come-as-you-are homeless shelter for adults near the city boundaries in northern Sarasota.

The county has narrowed a list of more than 100 potential sites to a handful of the most viable options. The most likely among them is a property near the corner of Myrtle Street and U.S. 301 — just west of a proposed WaWa convenience store and just outside Sarasota city limits.

Although there was no formal vote at a County Commission meeting Tuesday morning, the harmonious discussion made it clear the county is prepared to proceed with the long-debated shelter — with or without the city’s cooperation.

The issue has been a sore point for the two local governments, creating a rift that has intensified during the past two years and has stymied progress toward addressing the area’s homeless challenges.

The commissioners dismissed a proposal suggested late Monday by the city to swap a downtown Ringling Boulevard tract if the county agrees the build its shelter on Cattlemen Road, five miles east of the city. City officials had touted their proposal as a “win win win win win” and a money-saving option.

But county commissioners already have agreed — based on recommendations from a hired expect on homeless issues — that the shelter needs to be near the core homeless population downtown, where other services for them are already available.

City attorney blasts ACLU lawsuit on behalf of homeless

City of Sarasota attorney, blasts ACLU lawsuit on behalf of homeless

By  via Herald Tribune

The city will continue enforcing its no-lodging ordinance despite a lawsuit filed last Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Sarasota on behalf of six homeless men who claim that the law, and another against panhandling, violate their constitutional rights.

City commissioners declined to stop enforcement Monday after their attorney, Robert Fournier, couched the lawsuit as a political ploy to force Sarasota to approve a controversial come-as-you-are shelter supported by Sarasota County but opposed by the municipality.

Commissioners reiterated their objections to a come-as-you-are shelter while debating the utility of an upcoming city-county meeting to discuss homelessness. Scheduled for Nov. 6, the meeting is intended to end a two-year stalemate on the issue, but neither side appears willing to budge from their respective positions.

“The plaintiffs aren’t being helped here,” Fournier said of the lawsuit. “They’re being used. They’re pawns in a chess game to influence policy making.”

Fournier specifically blamed Michael Barfield, vice president of the ACLU of Florida and chief architect of the lawsuit, for twisting the facts to support his agenda.

Barfield, Fournier claimed, hopes that blocking enforcement of the no-lodging ordinance will prompt a tent city to materialize at Five Points Park, thereby riling wealthy condo residents who will then pressure the municipality to cede to county demands for a shelter.

Fournier further stated that the lawsuit itself lacks any legitimate claim of a constitutional violation on the part of the city or its police officers who enforce the ordinance.

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USA Soccer – Alex Morgan is all-american!

USA Soccer – Alex Morgan is all-american!

Alex Morgan

Alex Morgan via Sports Illustrated

Alex Morgan via Sports Illustrated

Alex Morgan – pic via Sports Illustrated

Alex Morgan – Pic credits Sports Illustrated

pic via lockerdome

Saw this and it just resonated with me!

Saw this and it just resonated with me!

List to be thankful for

List to be thankful for

Is Sarasota being overbuilt?

Source: Is Sarasota being overbuilt?