Bags, Inc. plans new Downtown Orlando HQ office bldg, nears deal for city land

Orlando-based Bags, Inc. wants to plant its flag in the city's downtown, with plans for a five-story office building to serve as a new corporate headquarters and public land near Amway Center targeted for purchase.

The deal involves nine small city-owned parcels totaling approximately 1.23 acres on the southwest corner of W. South Street and S. Division Avenue, right across the street from the arena's Geico Parking Garage.

A conceptual development plan calls for 84,000 square feet of office use, 5,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and an attached parking garage. 

It follows a notice of disposal and invitation for offers the city issued the first week of December. The surplus property surrounds a 0.175-acre parcel that a Bags affiliate bought back in 2009 for $425,000, which would give the company roughly 1.4 acres overall.

Bags and the city have reached a tentative price agreement of $1.34 million for the land, based on the current measurement of 53,611 square feet (1.23 acres). A final survey could see that price fluctuate, at an agreed $25 per gross square foot.

City staff are recommending approval of the sale contract to City Council at its Jan. 8 meeting.

The company would occupy at least 50,000 square feet in the proposed office building for its headquarters, according to an offer letter from CEO and founder Craig Mateer. 

A formal master plan has not been filed with the city to show how Bags would situate the office building and garage on 1.4 acres. Company officials could not be reached for comment on Wednesday evening.

The contract is contingent on Bags earning city approval for the five-story office building. The company would have approximately 80 corporate management and employees working there.

Bags employs more than 1,800 employees in Central Florida, and would operate its hiring, management and training out of the new headquarters, Mateer wrote.

Baggage Airline Guest Services, Inc. (Bags) began as a valet parking business at downtown's Church Street Station more than 25 years ago, and today has grown to handle valet and baggage services in more than 250 U.S. cities, and in airports and major resorts across the country.

The current Bags headquarters is located in unincorporated Orange County, in a tourism corridor office park at 6751 Forum Dr.

If approved by City Council, the city's real estate manager would move to execute all related closing documents and any necessary extensions of the closing date. Bags would have up to 180 days for an inspection period after the contract is dated, with closing to occur a maximum 30 days after.

Bags provided the city a full appraisal of the property to support its purchase price offer. Thomas Sullivan of GrayRobinson, P.A. has provided legal counsel to Bags on the deal.

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