Local developer spends $1.9M to expand office holdings in downtown Orlando

An affiliate of local developer Liberty Investment Properties paid $1.9 million on Wednesday to expand its holdings in downtown Orlando's Park Lake neighborhood, buying the office building of a veteran commercial real estate appraisal firm that neighbors its own. 

Located at 824 Highland Ave., the 0.83-acre lot features a two-story, 7,000-square-foot office building that dates to 1961, and has been long owned by an investment affiliate of Walter Carpenter and occupied by his local real estate services firm, Pinel & Carpenter, Inc.

"The building's size just doesn't work for us anymore. We only need about 5,000 square feet, and can't fit onto only one of the floors (at 3,500 square feet each)," Carpenter told GrowthSpotter. "I have another building under contract up in Maitland that will serve our needs better. We'll be closing on that in August and will relocate then." 

Adam and Michael Mikkelson, part of the family ownership behind long-time self storage developer Liberty Investment Properties, own the lot and office building directly north where they operate their company from. 

They also own a 12-unit apartment building on the same block at the corner of Highland and E. Marks Street, which has been renovated and re-landscaped in the past year. 

When Carpenter was preparing to sell his building, he emailed a handful of investors or business associates who had showed interest over the years, and the Mikkelsons were the first to jump, he said. 

"These are all right in our backyard. Most of us (at Liberty) live and work within three miles of the office," said president Adam Mikkelson. "There's not a big master plan at this time for (redevelopment), this is just part of our desire to invest in the areas where we live and make them better." 

Liberty plans to carry out some small-scale renovation work on the Pinel & Carpenter building later this year, he said. The company is leasing and marketing the office space on its own.

The buyer sourced a $1.7 million loan from Seaside National Bank & Trust to help finance the purchase. 

Denser and vertical redevelopment options could be pursued in the future from a land use standpoint, as the office property lies in the Downtown Orlando DRI. 

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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