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Miami-based real estate investor drops $45M for mixed-use property in MetroWest

An aerial view of the five-story Residences at Veranda Park project in Orlando’s MetroWest neighborhood.
An aerial view of the five-story Residences at Veranda Park project in Orlando’s MetroWest neighborhood. (Westside Capital)

Miami-based Westside Capital Group just paid $45 million for the mixed-use Residences at Veranda Park project in Orlando’s MetroWest neighborhood.

The five-story building at 2121 S. Hiawassee Rd. features 150 luxury apartments and 48,385 square feet of commercial leasable space on the ground floor.

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The seller, Canadian residential developer Geosam Capital, bought the 2.5-acre site in 2011, as part of a larger $18 million deal that included 15 acres directly south of the MetroWest Golf Course.

The Residences at Veranda Park was built in 2008, while most of its surrounding properties have remained vacant. In 2016, Geosam attempted to convert the units to condos, but plans fell through.

Learn more about the developer and brokerage involved, when units will go on sale, and what's planned next for an adjacent 13.5 acres.

The mid-rise building features one-, two- and three-bedroom units averaging about 1,240 square feet. Westside Capital Group said it intends to invest in common areas and target capital improvements.

As part of the acquisition, Westside assumed control of Veranda Park Association within the MetroWest Master Association. The company also secured several future purchase rights and purchase options pertaining to other development parcels within Veranda Park.

Jakub Hejl, founder and president of Westside, was not immediately available to comment.

The company scored a $31.5 million in financing through Freddie Mac. Charles Foschini of Berkadia’s Miami office helped arrange the loan.

Evan Kristol, Jason Hague and Duane Anderson from Marcus & Millichap brokered the deal. The Lowndes team in Orlando, led by Gary Kaleita, provided legal advisory services to Westside.

In a prepared statement, Hejl said “we see Orlando as a strategic market for Westside despite the short-term economic shocks related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we want to build a long-lasting relationship with the city and its residents.”

In 2017, the company purchased a 23-year-old apartment building Winter Haven for $4.35 million and neighboring vacant 3.7-acre site for an additional $105,000. There, the developer had plans to add an additional 130 apartments along South Lake Howard Drive, but records show the property has remained vacant.

Westside Capital is also planning a $1 billion mixed-use project on 128 acres in the City of Orlando, but no further details were released. A representative with the company declined to comment further.

The company joins a number of investors and developers have set their sights on Orlando’s MetroWest neighborhood, likely thanks to the area’s proximity to S. Kirkman Road, which is undergoing an 1.7-mile extension to Universal Boulevard, next to Universal Orlando’s planned Epic Universe theme park.

Last month, GrowthSpotter reported of plans by real estate development company Crosland Southeast to build up to 320 apartments nearby, on about 17.4 acres of land on the northwest corner of Carter Street and S. Kirkman Road.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at arabines@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-5427, or tweet me at @amanda_rabines. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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