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NorthMarq Capital Secures Lake Weston Point Community Refinance

9 May 2014, 10:21 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

NorthMarq Capital secured an $8.83 million refinance for Lake Weston Point Apartment Homes.

NorthMarq Capital is a privately held commercial real estate financial intermediary, providing mortgage banking and commercial loan servicing. With more than $10 billion in annual production volume and servicing a loan portfolio of more than $42 billion the company operates in 34 offices over the U.S. and has long loan production and loan servicing relationships with more than 50 life companies, many commercial mortgage-backed security platforms and hundreds of local, regional and national banks.

The company arranged financing for the borrower through its seller/servicer relationship with Freddie Mac. Structured with a 7-year term with 2-years interest only and a 30-year amortization schedule, the transaction of the adjustable rate mortgage was completed by Melissa Marcolini Quinn, managing director and senior vice president of NorthMarq Capital’s Orlando based regional office. She considers Freddie Mac’s floating rate offer “extremely attractive,” according to a press release.

The 240-unit affordable housing property is located at 2201 Weston Point Drive, Orlando. The pet-free community offers four floor plans with two to four bedrooms and two bathrooms, up to 1292 square feet. The apartments are air conditioned, equipped with central heating, ceiling fans, oversized closets, dishwashers and washer & dryer connections. Residents also have access to a lineup of community amenities such as afterschool program for kids, a clubhouse, car care area, a swimming pool, a sports court and a fitness center.

Photo credits: Lake Weston Point 

Nemours Children’s Clinic’s Lease on South Orange Ave. Renewed

1 May 2014, 2:06 am

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

The Nemours Foundation has had its 34,092-square-foot lease renewed at its Orlando location at 1717 South Orange Avenue.

Nemours’ multi-specialty group practice provides pediatric care for children and adolescents with chronic or complex medical conditions. The non-profit organization operates several children’s healthcare facilities throughout the country. Nemours’ pediatric specialists provide care at satellite clinics in Lake Mary as well as at Viera. The foundation also has several partners engaged in pediatric health care. Alongside its Florida operations, it offers family-centered care in children’s hospitals and clinics in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The facility is an outpatient pediatric clinic, which provides specialized pediatric care for families in Central Florida and is located in a three-story, 53,000-square-foot office building south of downtown Orlando. It features views of the adjacent Lake Lurna and is located across the street from the Orlando Regional Medical Center and the Arnold Palmer and Winnie Palmer hospitals.

Richard Solik of Cushman & Wakefield represented the tenant in the transaction and Robert Kellogg, vice president of office leasing for Lincoln spoke for the landlord. Kellogg said “The Nemours Foundation has been a longtime and highly valued client of 1717 South Orange Avenue.”

He also expressed his delight in the continuation of the successful business relationship of the two signatory parties.

Photo credits: Google Maps

Parkway Takes Ownership of One Orlando Centre

18 Apr 2014, 4:55 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Parkway Properties, Inc. has announced the acquisition of One Orlando Centre. The company has also simultaneously restructured the existing first mortgage loan.

Parkway is a fully integrated, self-administered and self-managed REIT with main focus on the acquisition, ownership and management of quality office properties in higher growth submarkets in the Sunbelt region.  The company’s investment portfolio includes over 50 office properties located in eight states and totals north of 17.6 million square feet.

Also known as the Wells Fargo building, One Orlando Centre is a Class A office building located in the central business district of Orlando, Fla. The 19-story, 356,000-square-foot tower came with an 8-story structured parking garage.  Built in 1987, the building is located just north of SR 50 between Orange Avenue and Magnolia Avenue with convenient access to Interstate 4. The property is currently 81.3 percent occupied and is expected to generate an initial full-year cash net operating income yield of 7 percent.

Parkway has taken ownership of the asset by making an $8.0 million equity investment that will provide for 100 percent ownership and management of the asset and be held in lender reserve accounts to cover the property’s leasing and repositioning.  At the same time, the existing $68.3 million first mortgage note was restructured into a new $54.0 million first mortgage with a fixed interest rate of 5.9 percent that matures in May 2017 and $16.4 million B-note, which is subordinated to Parkway’s equity investment.  The restructured first mortgage includes an option to extend for an additional year.

Photo credits: Parkway Properties


Hotel Equities to Manage Wyndham Hotel on I-Drive

11 Apr 2014, 9:47 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Hotel Equities has announced its arrangement with Wyndham Hotel Group to manage Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive and a newly built hotel in Southwest Texas.

Hotel Equities is a full-scale hotel management, ownership, development and consulting company based in Atlanta. Its current portfolio comprises more than 45 properties. Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive marks the firm’s eleventh contract in Florida and the new facility, set to open this month, is the first to be managed by Hotel Equities in the Lone Star State.

The Orlando property, which contains 613 guest rooms and suites, has recently undergone a multimillion-dollar renovation. The hotel includes a 24-hour business center and three on-site restaurants, as well as 60,000-square-feet of flexible meeting and event facilities. The pet-friendly resort also features lush gardens and romantic lagoons, a restored and welcoming courtyard area and a wide array of services and amenities. Two heated swimming pools and whirlpools, a newly renovated state-of-the-art fitness center and a sauna are also available. The premium rooms offer sliding glass doors with poolside views or direct pool access. Further amenities include a children’s playground, casino, coffee shop, bar, safe deposit boxes, etc.

The complex holds a strategic location in the core of Orlando’s premier tourist destination, on International Drive, just one mile away from Orange County Convention Center, close to Disney World and upscale shopping and dining. Guests benefit from free shuttle service to Universal Studios Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando, which are also within easy reach.

Photo credits: Wyndham Hotels and Resorts

Cortland Partners Enters Orlando Market, Hires Local Expert

4 Apr 2014, 6:22 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Cortland Partners recently acquired its first asset in the metro Orlando market. The firm purchased Harbor at Lake Howell, a 408-unit, garden-style community in Casselberry for $40 million. Aside from the acquisition, the company also announced that it has added John Builder to its team of experts.

Cortland Partners is an Atlanta-based full-service multifamily real estate acquisition, development, and operating platform mainly active across the Southeast and Texas. A growing apartment owner and manager, the firm is currently focused on expanding its presence in the Sunshine State. The company’s Florida portfolio consists of seven communities, totaling about 3,000 units. Cortland Partners acquired its first Florida asset in 2012 and now owns communities in Gainesville, Fla., Jacksonville, Fla., Orlando, Fla. and Tampa, Fla.

Situated on 450-acres next to a freshwater lake, The Harbor at Lake Howell offers three floor plans ranging from 826 to 1330 square feet with one, two or three bedrooms and up to two bathrooms. The apartments come with fully equipped kitchens with optional stainless steel appliances, garbage disposal, washer / dryer connections, intrusion alarm, screened patios or balconies and outside storage space. The property includes a secluded sandy beach, winding wooded nature trail and boat access to Lake Howell. Further community amenities include a fitness center with spa / hot tub, an adventure playground, picnic areas, a summer kitchen equipped with gas grill, a car care center and covered parking.

A native of Orlando, Builder will serve as a Director of Investments for Florida. With more than 15 years of experience in investment-grade real estate acquisitions, portfolio management, joint ventures, and development, his main responsibility at Cortland Partners is to manage the firm’s development and acquisition activities across the state.

Photo credits: Harbor at Lake Howell

Orion Investment Affiliate Acquires Restaurant Row Mixed Use Property

24 Mar 2014, 5:44 am

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

The Rialto, a 105,275-square-foot retail and office center changed hands in early March. The seller, The Wilder Companies, gave HFF the marketing responsibilities and the sales team was led by senior managing directors Brad Peterson and Coleman Benedict and analyst Whitaker Leonhardt. The transaction was worth $31.7 million, according to Orlando Business Journal.

The new owner is an affiliate of Orion Investment and Management, Orion Venture IX Rialto, LLC that acquired the asset free and clear of existing financing. Orion Investment and Management is a full-service commercial real estate firm providing consulting services to national and international buyers. Established in 1978, it operates offices in Miami and Orlando. The company manages a portfolio worth over $400 and has a transaction history of over $1 billion.

Just 15 minutes from Orlando International Airport and Walt Disney World, the property is located on “Restaurant Row”, or more specifically, at 7335 Sand Lake Road.  The one-mile stretch of retail facilities and restaurants is about 10 miles southwest of downtown Orlando. It features 46,756 square feet of office space that is 83 percent occupied and 58,519 square feet of currently fully leased retail space. Newlin Law, Ocean Prime and Bar Louie are among the prime tenants at the center. Adjacent to the mixed-use complex there is a 200-unit residential community currently under construction. Developed by Wood Partners, Alta Rialto Apartments was not included in the sale.

Photo credits: The Wilder Companies

New Townhome Designs Available at Eagle Creek

24 Mar 2014, 5:05 am

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Standard Pacific Homes has recently introduced The Townhomes at Eagle Creek community, inviting enquirers for a tour in two of the model homes. Located at Eagle Creek, just two miles south of SR 417 on Narcoosee Road, the new designs offer home buyers a country club lifestyle.

Founded in Southern California in 1965, Standard Pacific Homes is specialized in the development of multifamily projects with decades of land acquisition, development and homebuilding expertise. The company currently offers new homes in major metropolitan areas in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas.

Undoubtedly, one of the main attractions of Eagle Creek is its 4.5 star championship golf course. The master-planned community also features a 14,000-square-foot clubhouse and a golf pro shop. It also takes pride in over 400 acres of open space that encompasses lakes, wetlands and trails. The new homes offer easy and quick access to Orlando International Airport, Medical City’s numerous facilities and institutions and several Lake Nona schools.

The home interiors thrive in thoughtful design elements including gourmet kitchens with slab-granite countertops, spacious Great Rooms and dual master suites with coffered ceilings. Mediterranean style concrete tile roofs and rich exterior architectural finishes add to the overall country club feel. Jay Lewis, Orlando President for Standard Pacific Homes thinks the townhome designs turned out to be so cozy they resemble single-family homes, he said in a recent statement.

“The thoughtful architectural details make it a one-of-a-kind community, where home shoppers are sure to find the home of their dreams,” he says.

Home prices start at around $228,000 and buyers can choose form two 1,697 square-foot floor plans either with 2 or 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths.

Photo credits: Standard Pacific Homes

McCraney’s Dade Paper Project Awarded Industrial Development of the Year

7 Mar 2014, 7:47 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

NAIOP Central Florida Chapter has distinguished McCraney Property Company’s Dade Paper project with the “Industrial Development of the Year” title. Presented at the Best of the Best Awards Gala, the award recognizes Dade Paper’s 150,000-square-foot state-of-the-art Central Florida Distribution Center and Offices for its overall design to meet the needs of the end user.

The company is specialized in commercial distribution properties with services including acquisitions, joint venture investments and construction, with special emphasis on property management and development of Class A business parks. It is focused mainly on industrial and warehouse projects in West Palm Beach, the Treasure Coast and Orlando, Florida. McCraney’s holdings exceed 2,500,000 square feet.

Located in McCraney’s 25-acre John Young Business Park, the industrial facility was the first building in a portfolio of three, totaling 393,000 square feet.  MPC committed to develop the project in its joint venture with Clarion Partners. General contractor for the project was Edwards Construction Services, Inc. and The Corrales Group Architects planned the building with the involvement of Smiley & Associates, Inc.  as engineering consultant.

Usage of quality materials with superior construction techniques, compatibility with the natural surroundings, advanced technology and exceptional results achieved by all members of the development team have also been mentioned among the project’s main virtues.

Steven E. McCraney, CEO of McCraney Property Company revealed the company’s purpose to submitting its two latest projects for next year’s Best of the Best Awards.

“Being recognized by our peers at NAIOP means a lot to us,” he adds.

Photo credits: Edwards Construction Services

Orlando’s First Community Solar Farm Started Production in OUC’s Gardenia Campus

7 Mar 2014, 1:14 am

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

ESA Renewables has recently announced the completion of the first community solar farm in Orlando. The 2.5-acre array has a 400 kW output and as a community solar farm, it is only the second of its kind in the whole of the Sunshine State.

Set up in the parking area of Orlando Utilities Commission’s Gardenia Campus at 3800 Gardenia Avenue, the panels are expected to produce about 540,000 kWh a year while also providing shade for the cars parking underneath them. The output should be enough to meet the power needs of 40 homes and is the equivalent to avoiding 949,316 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.

Not long ago, OUC has offered customers the opportunity to purchase blocks of solar power and this resulted in a smashing success, the 39 subscriptions having been sold out in less than a week. For an optional number of solar power blocks up to 15 kW, subscribers will pay a fixed rate for 25 years. The amount of energy produced by these blocks appears on their monthly electricity bills. In other words, the method is similar to rooftop panels, sparing subscribers the trouble of up-front expenses, installation or equipment maintenance costs. It also allows renters and condo owners to join the club, as well as customers whose rooftops are shaded by trees or nearby buildings.

The array was commissioned in October by ESA and has been acquired by Spear Point Energy. Further companies involved in the project include Sylvester and Cockrum, ReneSola, Advanced Energy, Chint and Schletter. OUC has agreed to purchase the generated power from Spear Point Energy under a 25-year power purchase agreement.

Photo credits: Orlando Utilities Commission

Universal’s Growth Brings 3,500 New Jobs

26 Feb 2014, 4:25 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

The upcoming expansion at Universal Orlando Resort will create 3,500 new permanent jobs during 2014, according to the management’s announcement. That is about the same amount of employees as Universal Orlando has hired in the past four years.

The addition of a new 1,800-room Cabana Bay Beach Resort, eight new CityWalk venues and the opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley calls for the establishment of a wide range of managerial, professional, high-tech, guest service and other positions. These include management opportunities in theme park operations, food and beverage, retail and hospitality; skilled technical positions; culinary positions as well as hourly positions in guest services in various areas of operation. More than one third of the new jobs will be managerial or other highly skilled positions.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, for the time being, is a more than 20-acre construction site at Universal Studios, soon to become home to Universal Orlando’s newest theme park entertainment project. A similar project is already present at the Universal’s Islands of Adventure since 2010, called Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade.

A new, 1,800-room hotel is also among the additions. The Cabana Bay Beach Resort, to be inaugurated later this year, will be Universal Orlando’s fourth on-site hotel and will include 900 family suites and 900 standard guest rooms.

The transformation of CityWalk is already in progress since late 2013 and will bring a total of eight new venues to the entertainment complex by the end of this year.

Image of Universal’s Islands of Adventure, courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort


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