Banner buys two thirds of land assemblage for downtown Orlando apts project

Illinois-based multifamily developer Banner Real Estate Group paid $3.26 million this week for two thirds of the land it needs for a planned 13-story apartment project in downtown Orlando, with the remainder likely to close in the next month.

This would be Banner's entry to the Central Florida market, with a six-parcel assemblage under contract since last April that totals about 1.78 acres at 108 E. Livingston St., on the southeast corner with N. Rosalind Avenue. 

Banner paid just over $1.26 million to the estate of Albert G. Hartog for two parcels totaling 0.436 acres, and paid $2 million for the largest parcel in the assemblage (0.54 acres), a triangular island on the intersection corner owned by Colombian investors behind Inversiones Nuevo Stiro, S.A.S

The sale deeds were dated on Feb. 26 but recorded Friday morning in Orange County.

The remaining 0.428 acres across three small parcels east of the N. Rosalind road stub have yet to be purchased, but should within the next month or so, Director of Development Tom Suminski told GrowthSpotter on Friday. Banner has real estate sale contract memorandums recorded with those three owners.

Another 0.385 acres is land the city would abandon as the offshoot of N. Rosalind Avenue, which runs through the assemblage from E. Livingston to Ridgewood streets. 

Looking forward, Banner is still on pace to break ground on the site in late spring or early summer, Suminski said. It is finishing design of construction plans for the 389-unit building, and no demolition permit request has been filed. 

The developer is working with prospective construction lenders and equity partners on debt quotes, and should make those selections in the coming months, he added.

Total project cost has been estimated near $89 million, with up to 65 percent of that potentially financed. Construction of the building is projected to run 20 to 21 months after groundbreaking.

The developer earned a key initial approval in September and October from Orlando's Municipal Planning Board and City Council. It involved a series of requests that included rezoning, to prepare the site for up to 389 apartments and retail.

In early January, Banner announced "Radius" as a working title for the apartments project due to its location as a nexus point in downtown, and confirmed Jack Jennings & Sons as its general contractor.

Suminski said the company is starting to evaluate proposals by local retail brokerage teams to market the building's 14,000 square feet of ground-floor space, but that selection may not come until well into the construction period. 

The Livingston-Rosalind intersection is one of the busiest in downtown Orlando, and because of the curve of Rosalind Avenue, the extensive street frontage of that side of the building will be highly visible from multiple vantage points. 

The downtown Orlando submarket is supporting the highest rent averages in Greater Orlando at roughly $1,700 per month (close to $2 per square foot) for properties built since 2013, according to late 2017 multifamily data from CBRE

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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