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Upshot Capital buys 2.55-acre infill development site in Orlando’s Mills Park

An aerial view of the 2.55 acre site that sold at 1724 N. Mills Avenue.
An aerial view of the 2.55 acre site that sold at 1724 N. Mills Avenue. (Bishop Beale Duncan)

Orlando-based real estate investment group Upshot Capital Advisors just secured a spot within the mixed-use Mills Park development in the city’s Mills 50 District.

According to a deed recorded in Orange County, the company paid $3.8 million for a 2.55-acre infill development site at 1724 N. Mills Avenue.

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The site was marketed as the final segment of the 14.5-acre Mills Park complex on the northwest corner of Mills Avenue and Virginia Drive. Currently undeveloped, the parcel features entitlements to build up to 177,350 square feet of hotel and office space across two buildings.

The latest permitting movement by Tampa-based owners of a prominent infill parcel, and the entitlements that may draw buyers in.

Juan Carlos Gomez, Upshot’s vice president of legal affairs, told GrowthSpotter the firm has not laid out clear plans yet, though it does intend to develop the site within the limits of what’s currently allowed.

“It’s a little early for us to have a conceptual idea,” Gomez said. “But I imagine it’s not unlike what’s currently permitted in the existing PD.”

Mills Park began being prepped for development by a joint venture between Forge Capital Partners and DeBartolo Development around 2012 on the former Mills & Nebraska lumber yard.

The mixed-use project features a 310-unit apartment community, completed in 2014, called The Gallery at Mills Park.

In 2015, JLL Capital Markets announced the apartment community sold for $66.5 million. An entity tied to the Chicago-based investment firm Heitman is the current owner.

Forge and DeBartolo completed the retail segment of Mills Park in 2013. The Market at Mills Park shopping center was later bought by Ram Realty in 2016 for $29.6 million.

The Vero Beach-based investor is one of the state's largest citrus developers, and is building an expansive portfolio of commercial property assets.

The plaza sits on about 6.2 acres of land within Mills Park and features 55,560 square feet of retail and restaurant space. Today, the shopping center is anchored by a 20,330-square-foot Fresh Market grocery store.

Restaurants that have opened at Mill Park include First Watch, Too Much Sauce and Firebirds Wood Fired Grill.

“There’s a lot going on in that part of town,” Gomez said. The site sits between Winter Park and downtown Orlando, and expanding around the property are developments like Ivanhoe Village and Orlando’s Health Village.

Mills Park is also near a batch of museums and parks, including the Loch Haven Park, the Orlando Science Center, Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando Repertory Museum and the Mennello Sculpture Garden and Art Museum.

"We think it’s a very central property,' Gomez said.

This won’t be the first time Debartolo and Upshot have worked together before.

In April GrowthSpotter reported that Upshot signed Debartolo as joint venture partner to co-develop a 315-unit apartment complex on Osceola’s E192 tech corridor.

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Get a peek at the newest apartment community coming to Osceola County and NeoCity.

Dubbed the Vesta Apartments, the project sits within Upshot’s 28-acre Settlement at Amber Pointe mixed-use project, next to the Osceola County East Government Center.

Nearby Mills Park, Upshot has completed clearing a portion a 1.56-acre property at 68 S. Ivanhoe Blvd., which it acquired in 2017 for $3.5 million. The parcel lies next to the Doubletree by Hilton Orlando Downtown.

The site features a wide range of uses with its Downtown Metropolitan Activity Center zoning, allowing for up to 200 units per acre and entitlements to build up to 33 stories in height.

According to marketing material online, Jamison Commercial Partners brought the property to market on behalf of Upshot earlier this year.

Without disclosing a name or disclosing more details, Gomez said Upshot is close to "doing something there with an interested party.”

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at arabines@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-5427, or tweet me at @amanda_rabines. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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