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Lady Lake investor buys second downtown Orlando office property, bets on growth

A view of the recently sold office building at 437 N. Magnolia Ave., directly east of the Orange County Courthouse.
A view of the recently sold office building at 437 N. Magnolia Ave., directly east of the Orange County Courthouse. (Cushman & Wakefield)

A Lady Lake-based entrepreneur and real estate investor paid $1.55 million on Monday for his second downtown Orlando investment property in the past five months, and has more under contract as he bets on the submarket's long-term growth.

Located at 437 N. Magnolia Ave. directly east of the Orange County Courthouse, the 0.27-acre parcel features a free-standing office building of 4,962 square feet that dates to 1976.

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"It will be a rental spot for me for years to come," buyer Steven Sailer told GrowthSpotter. "It's vacant for now, but we're working diligently to lease it up," likely to a law practice.

The seller was an investment affiliate of veteran attorney J. Christy Wilson III, one of Orlando's leading eminent domain specialists, which previously paid $415,000 in 1998. Wilson will remain in practice but is relocating and downsizing his office.

Sailer will have a strategic advantage with the property in the future when someone tries to develop the vacant 0.57-acre parcel that lies directly north. That tract only has access privileges off of Amelia Street, and would need to acquire Sailer's office parcel for frontage on the main avenue.

The 437 Magnolia purchase follows a $1.4 million investment by Sailer in late October to enter the downtown submarket, when he bought a 103-year-old office property two blocks to the north at 108 Hillcrest St.

Sailer's primary business is as owner of six automobile salvage yards across the state, a business and property type that grows increasingly valuable over time as the number of operators declines and the state limits the issuance of new salvage yard licenses.

His investment in downtown Orlando's small office properties is a long-term bet on favorable zoning and the continued growth and redevelopment pressure he expects to come for the submarket, Sailer said.

Hooman Hamzehloui of Masters Realty International represented Sailer and will continue to do so in his Orlando market search. Jeff Sweeney, Tommy Pinel and Kevin Hammond of Cushman & Wakefield marketed the property.

Editor's Note: This story was updated to correct the sale price to $1.55 million, from the previously noted $1.05 million. 

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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