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Private equity firm takes over Monarch Tower project in downtown Orlando, buys development site for $11M+

Plans for the 30-story Monarch Tower, near the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts, call for a luxury apartment community and full-service lifestyle hotel with shared amenities and services.
Plans for the 30-story Monarch Tower, near the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts, call for a luxury apartment community and full-service lifestyle hotel with shared amenities and services. (Baker Barrios Architects)

Massachusetts-based Northland Investment Corporation just took control of the Monarch tower development site in downtown Orlando.

The real estate private equity firm paid developer and long-time property owner The Jaymor Group $11.3 million in all-cash for its .9-acre property just off the South Street exit from State Road 408, according to a deed recently recorded in Orange County.

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John Awsumb, Jaymor Group’s vice president of U.S. Development, told GrowthSpotter the deal hands over a shovel-ready development site with entitlements to build a new 30-story hotel and apartment tower.

“Breaks my heart, but [Northland] offered a great deal,” Aswsumb said. Jaymor Group originally brought Northland on as a co-developer and equity partner on the project, he adds. “I guess they really liked it.”

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Insight on the vertically integrated CRE investment firm that saw value-add opportunity in one of Orlando's most prominent towers.

Jaymor Group’s Monarch Tower project, designed by Baker Barrios, has entitlements to allow for up to 380 rental apartments, along with a full-service lifestyle hotel with up to 200 rooms to accommodate a national brand or 130 rooms to accommodate a hotel boutique concept. Plans include a restaurant on the main floor and the roof level. Additional features include meeting and banquet space, a spa and at least one pool.

The amenities and services would be split between residents and guests.

The Jaymor Group has owned the property at 322 E. Jackson St. since 2005. The firm once came close to developing a 179-unit condo tower with ground-floor retail uses in 2006, but the Toronto-based developer decided to stop plans and return deposits as a reaction to the forthcoming real estate downturn.

Last year, the humble 2,200-square-foot office building on site was demolished around the same time Orlando’s Municipal Planning Board approved plans for the Monarch Tower, and a temporary construction office has been located on the site.

In addition to securing the necessary permits and site plan approvals, Aswsumb said he was also able to help approve the construction of a new segment of Lake Avenue west of the neighboring Westminster Plaza senior living community, to allow easier access for the planned hotel entrance.

The Jaymor Group anticipated starting construction by the end of this year, however, Aswsumb said he wasn’t sure when Northland intends to put their own shovels in the ground. Representatives with Northland were not immediately available to comment.

Records in Orange County suggest Northland plans to break ground soon. Northland’s general council Beth Kinsley signed a Temporary Construction and Access Easement agreement that cleared records simultaneously with the property deed. The agreement gives Northland a temporary, non-exclusive construction and access easement pursuant to construction plans.

If Northland decides to go forward with the plan as is, “it’s going to be a phenomenal project,” Aswsumb said. The site sits near the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts and a proposed co-living, 19-story mixed-use tower on the corner of South Street and Rosalind Avenu

The Jamore Group is a real estate company that is active in the U.S. and Canada. In addition to real estate development, the company also specializes in U.S. real estate investment, asset management and property management.

In Daytona Beach, Jaymor Group completed the Marriott Autograph Collection hotel across from Daytona International Speedway in 2019.

The Monarch Tower wouldn’t be Northland’s first project in downtown Orlando. The company also owns and recently renovated the 16-story Paramount on Lake Eola tower that anchors Publix in downtown Orlando’s Central Business District. The upgrades cost about $10 million and came after a condo termination that gave Northland full control of its 313 residential units.

The company is a real estate private equity firm with $6 billion of assets under management. It owns more than 26,000 multifamily units across the nation and is overseeing about $3 billion worth of development projects, according to its website.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at arabines@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 491-3357, or tweet me at @amanda_rabines. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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