Local real estate broker and developer Nick Jones and his family's commercial real estate business Red Bell Partnerspaid $2.3 million on Tuesday for their second investment property in Downtown Orlando, aiming to capitalize on the population influx at Creative Village in the coming years.
Located at 400 W. Pittman St. on the corner of N. Hughey Avenue, the 30,000-square-foot building has been leased up until recently by not-for-profit soap recycler Clean The World, and apparel screen printer Real Thread.
The Red Bell affiliate sourced a $1.575 million loan from First Green Bank to help finance the acquisition. The seller was an investment affiliate of local real estate attorney John K. Keating.
"We have that building in downtown at 131 (N. Orange Ave.) that we've been spending the last two years renovating, and throughout that time we've gotten to know the Downtown Orlando market and think it's going in a very positive direction with new apartments being built, Creative Village coming in, just a lot of positive trends for urban living in downtown," Jones told GrowthSpotter on Thursday.
When the Pittman property appeared on his radar last year, Jones saw a unique opportunity to own one of the largest industrial buildings in the core of Downtown Orlando, and a value-add opportunity next to the former Sheraton hotel now being renovated as a Marriott, and three minutes by foot to the Creative Village campus.
"We're working with an architect now who specializes in this kind of adapted site project, and are putting together a plan for what the image of the building will be," Jones said. "We're not quite ready to discuss it now, but over the next few months we'll have a crisper idea of the direction, and opportunities to be available for tenants."
Clean the World is expected to relocate this month from the Pittman Street building to a new, larger headquarters building near Orlando International Airport.
Restaurateur Jeremy Roberts is primed to take much of that Pittman Street building space with a proposed brewery and coffee roaster operation. He received conditional use approval in recent weeks from the City of Orlando, and is still refining plans for the business, he said on Thursday.
"We plan on being the largest brewery in Orlando in terms of capacity, and we want to bring a coffee roaster company in there to occupy some of the space, but it's a work in progress still and we'll probably not be ready to open until early 2018," Roberts said.
Roberts will also be building out a pizzeria and brewery a few blocks to the southeast in Red Bell Partners' property at 131 N. Orange Ave., the former Fields Fiat-anchored building.
With about 15,500 square feet of leasable space across six tenant spaces in that building, five have been leased or reserved.
The hard corner will be anchored by a Wells Fargo branch (3,600 SF) now under construction, Roberts' pizzeria and brewery (3,400 SF) has been renamed Orange County Brewers and could open in May or June, Burger Craft (3,600 SF) will open its third regional store in the former Annie's Cafe space, Hubbly Bubbly (1,500 SF) will open its second Orlando location, and Insomnia Cookies (1,000 SF) is now open. The building still has 2,100 square feet on Orange Avenue marketed for lease.