A local real estate financing consultant and general contractor are partnering on property redevelopment in Downtown Orlando, focused on single-family homes in the coveted Delaney Park neighborhood.
Todd Cohen, a commercial mortgage broker and principal at Cohen Real Estate Capital, and partners Larry Hingle and John Erickson of Hingle Erickson Construction began buying properties in Delaney Park in 2014 to redevelop as custom, 3,000-square-foot spec homes priced at $650,000 or more.
They've dug out a profitable niche by recognizing the valued walkability in this corner of the 32806 downtown zip code, and its A-graded, K-12 Blanker-Boone public school campus.
"We are the only developers taking the chance and building spec because we have faith in our product ... and the overall neighborhood of Delaney Park," Cohen said. "With school redistricting, families are coming into the area for the K-12 Blanker and Boone schools. I also live in Delaney Park, so I look at it as improving my backyard."
The partners have completed and sold five homes and one undeveloped lot in the past two years, and still own two more lots in the neighborhood on which they'll start construction next month.
Cohen, Hingle and Erickson supply all the equity themselves on the new homes, typically 50 percent of cost on a project while sourcing construction loans from repeat lenders BB&T, Fairwinds Credit Union and IberiaBank.
"We just purchased two properties in the neighborhood in the past two months," said Cohen. "We're looking to build and finish those homes by August, and do another $3 million in sales and $1.4 million in construction this year."
A report of recent home sales in Delaney Park via Realtor.com reflect new homes commanding $215 to $275 per square foot, in line with the $700,000 to $750,000 sales of Cohen's homes.
Cohen said the team is actively looking to buy two to three more lots in the neighborhood this year to stay on a pace of delivering four to five homes every two years.
All eight properties they've purchased have had existing homes that were small and dilapidated by today's standards, as well as abandoned, Cohen said. His acquisition budget is typically capped in the mid-$200,000s.
The developers seek lots with a minimum width of 60 feet, and "adequate depth to build the size home we want with a decent but not excessive yard," Cohen said.
Don Harkins of Keller Williams has been the listing agent on most of Cohen and Hingle Erickson's homes thus far, but does not have an exclusivity agreement.