Bubil: Surviving another real estate cycle


In reporting a story on the resurgence of lot sales at The Concession, developer Kevin Daves spoke like a man who by now has just about seen it all in the real estate market.

After all, he started The Concession, born of an idea by golfing great Tony Jacklin, at the height of the 2000s real estate boom and then was battered when sales ground to a halt for years.

“Florida is interesting because it goes through these cycles all the time,” said Daves, happy that 55 lots sold at the high-end golf-course community in east Manatee County in 2014.

“This is my second one. And the comment everybody says is, ‘You know, it won’t come back like it was.’ And every time it comes back better.”

If by “better,” he means a robust but not overheated rate of sales to actual buyers (people who intend to live there), and who can do more than “fog a mirror” in front of a loan officer, then Daves has it about right.

“You never know what the world is going to bring,” Daves said. “But I’m happy where we are. The pace is exactly what we hoped for. The quality of buyers has exceeded what we like.”

Daves said The Concession, dragged from the financial rocks by investor John Peshkin, was poised to take advantage of the market’s rebound.

“It takes two years to build a condominium, and seven years to plat land and get the land ready to sell as lots,” Daves said. “We were in a severe lot shortage two or three years ago, and it is starting to show now, because it is getting harder and harder to find a lot you want to build on — particularly lots like we have, which are larger lots with lots of trees and big spaces.”

Daves is impressed that The Concession, in an area with a long history of attracting buyers from the Midwest, is being “discovered” by Northeasterners.

“When I was doing the Ritz-Carlton, we had very few buyers, or even lookers, who came from the Northeast. Now we have so many coming from Virginia and the D.C. area and Connecticut.

“They used to go to the east coast of Florida. They come down here and they think they have discovered some environment that no one really knows about, and they are finding it brand new.”

We’ve heard that before.

“I came down in the 1990s and thought the same thing,” said Daves with a laugh. “They go home and tell all their friends.”


My recent story on the proposed CitySide rental complex quoted developer Jay Tallman as saying, “The only downtown alternative is to rent a condo, which is considerably more expensive than what these residences will be renting for.”

A sharp-eyed reader noted that One Palm, now under construction on Palm Avenue at Ringling Boulevard, will have 130 hotel rooms and 139 apartments.

Harold Bubil

Recipient of the 2015 Bob Graham Architectural Awareness Award from the American Institute of Architects/Florida-Caribbean, Harold Bubil is real estate editor of the Herald-Tribune Media Group. Born in Newport, R.I., his family moved to Sarasota in 1958. Harold graduated from Sarasota High School in 1970 and the University of Florida in 1974 with a degree in journalism. For the Herald-Tribune, he writes and edits stories about residential real estate, architecture, green building and local development history. He also is a photographer and public speaker. Contact him via email, or at (941) 361-4805.
Last modified: January 17, 2015
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