Brooklyn-based investment company Sands Capital wants to help demolish a condemned hotel, turned condominium complex, near Florida Mall to make way for a new multifamily project.
Records show affiliated company Landstreet Project LLC paid $4 million to purchase the shuttered 340-unit Blossom Park community at 1851 W. Landstreet Rd. in March.
Harry Collison Jr., a director at Winter Park-based Collison Capital, served as the court-appointed receiver for the property in the deal.
Collison told GrowthSpotter the new owners have formalized an agreement with Orange County to demolish the seven-building complex and settle some outstanding fines against the property, which has been in receivership since 2010.
The property reportedly had accrued more than $19 million in liens and fines because of structural deterioration. The county agreed the new owner only had to pay $500,000. Earlier this year, a massive fire set a portion of the property ablaze.
“The property is in a state of disrepair,” project planner and consultant Jim Hall of Hall Development Services, said. “It was always a hotel, but at some point, during this century someone sold units as residential condos. That’s when maintenance started to go downhill.”
Blossom Park was originally built as a Days Inn in the 1970s until the former owners started selling hotel units as condominiums in 2003. For years the property was unkempt and crime-ridden.
Residents at the complex vacated the premises in 2015 when an Orange County code enforcement officer deemed the complex as unfit for human inhabitation. An engineering study reportedly revealed a host of problems, including stairwells in danger of collapsing.
David Lundberg with Commercial Equity Partners (CEP) represented the buyers in the most recent deal.
“I believe this property has been abandoned longer than any other property in Orange County history and had the largest number of violations,” he said.
Lundberg adds he and the new owner believe one of the best uses for the property would be affordable housing.
Orange County has historically lacked a sufficient amount of affordable housing for its residents, especially the many who work in the low-wage-paying jobs nearby in the service and tourism industries that help fuel its economy.
The property, located northwest of the intersection between Orange Blossom Trail and Landstreet Road, spans about seven acres. It sits just south of the Atlantic Coast Railroad, near major roadways including U.S. Route 441, S.R. 528, and Florida’s Turnpike.
A Land Use Plan recently submitted in Orange County shows Sands Capital intends to develop a 250-unit, garden-style apartment community. The units will be a mix of one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments.
Sands Capital partner Michael Simcha was not immediately available to comment.
The company operates as a lender and investment firm that specializes in providing investors secured loans to purchase property, finance construction, and rehabilitate neglected properties, according to its website.
Sands Capital worked with title insurance company Riverside Abstract to close the deal.