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Downtown Orlando Developments

Highwoods Properties eyes redesign of Capital Plaza III as mixed-use project

Highwoods Properties appears to be scrapping plans for a third office tower at its Capital Plaza development in downtown Orlando and instead is partnering with a leading multifamily developer to create a mixed-use project just south of Lake Eola.

The North Carolina-based developer had proposed a 15-story Capital Plaza III office tower next to its existing parking garage on Pine Street that currently serves Capital Plaza I and II. The plans go back to 2006 and have been revised over the years, going from 10 stories to 15. Various iterations included a hotel and condo building as components in the master plan.

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Highwoods now has teamed up with Mill Creek Residential Trust to reimagine the concept as a mixed-use residential tower and a scaled-back office component. Rebecca Wilson, shareholder for Lowndes, represented the developers during the pre-application meeting for the project they’re calling Capital Plaza III and Modera South Eola.

The conceptual plan calls for a 22-story residential tower and a 100,000-square-foot commercial building fronting on Rosalind Avenue between Pine and Church streets. A pedestrian promenade would separate the two buildings, which would be just north of the Orange County administrative building. The residential building would have 400 units and about 15,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, while the second building could have the entire ground floor dedicated to retail use and offices on the upper floors.

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The parking garage would be expanded to accommodate 400 dedicated spaces for the apartment tower, and the residential units would wrap the garage addition. An amenity deck would be built on the roof of the new parking structure.

Company officials could not be reached for comment. Highwoods laid out its plan to capitalize on the development potential of existing assets in its At A Glance presentation to investors on March 7. In the report, the company said it intends to “work with high-quality retail and multi-family developers to realize the potential of the mixed-use land, all of which is immediately adjacent HIW owned office properties or potential future office.” The report estimated Orlando’s development potential for new office space at 80,000 square feet, at a cost of $34 million, plus another 400,000 square feet for mixed-use, which corresponds to the submitted concept plan.

This would be Mill Creek’s fourth Modera-branded project in Orlando. The Boca Raton developer entered the Orlando market in 2015 with the Modera Central, a 22-story mixed-use tower at 125 E. Pine Street, just across the street from this site. The trust sold the 350-unit tower in late December for $137.25 million.

The company is now leasing its brand new Modera Creative Village, and it recently filed plans for Modera Baldwin Park, a proposed 400-unit apartment building just east of Orlando Fashion Square Mall.

The proposed Modera South Eola would be the fifth new residential tower project on the books within a two-block radius. Just east of the Highwoods Properties parking garage, Summa Development Group has approved plans for a 33-story mixed-use tower that would combine a 5-star convention-center hotel with luxury branded residences. That project was delayed earlier this year when the Orlando Museum of Art backed out of an agreement to lease space in the tower for a downtown branch.

Two more towers are planned on Mariposa Street. Banyan Development Group’s Mariposa Grove senior living project is approved for a 13-story tower between the Star Tower condominium building and the assisted living Windsor Place At Orlando Lutheran tower between Mariposa Street and E. Jackson Street.

Just this month, New York-based Lexin Capital filed plans for a 16-story residential tower at 550 Mariposa St. The development plan calls for 223 residential units, a parking garage that can accommodate 425 vehicles and close to 20,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor.

The proposed Monarch Tower at 322 E. Jackson St. has approved plans for a 30-story building that combines a luxury hotel with up to 380 branded apartments. The property was sold with entitlements to a real estate private equity firm last August for $11.3 million.

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Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-6261, or tweet me at @byLauraKinsler. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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