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St. Petersburg Business Park Sold to California Investor

Meridian Gateway Center, a 165,000-square-foot business park in St. Petersburg's Gateway area, has been sold for $11.5 million to California-based Avistone Development.

Clearwater-based Meridian Development Group paid $9 million for the property in 2006 and spent $700,000 upgrading it. Rick Brugge, a director with Cushman & Wakefield of FloridaInc., represented Meridian in the transaction.

Formerly known as Continental Commerce Center, the park is 87 percent occupied.

"It is Meridian's strategy to acquire underperforming assets, redevelop them and sell within a three- to five-year span," said Steven Kossoff, Meridian Development Group managing director, in a written statement. "We held on to Meridian Gateway Center during the downturn and waited for the right time to exit our ownership of the property."

In August, Meridian acquired the Premier Corporate Center in Tampa and planned a redevelopment of that business park. It's one of three assets Meridian has acquired in the last 18 months. The company is looking to expand its portfolio of industrial, flex and low-rise office property along the East Coast from Raleigh, N.C. through Central Florida.

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