Local Vietnamese-American property investors just paid $2.59 million for a retail portfolio in downtown Orlando's "Little Saigon" neighborhood.
According to a deed recorded Friday in Orange County, an entity led by An D and Patrick Dang took control of about an acre of land on the southeast corner of Mills Avenue and East Colonial Drive.
Fully leased at time of sale, the deal consists of two retail buildings leased to an Anthony's Pizza restaurant and the iFixYouri mobile phone repair shop fronting the busy Colonial Drive thoroughfare. A two-story, multi-tenant retail building at 639 N. Mills Ave. was also included in the deal, along with a nearly 14,000-square-foot parking lot directly south of the building.
The seller, Uptown Orlando LLC, is managed by local business owner To-Lan Trinh-Le, who previously helped lead urbanization efforts in the Mills 50 area, which boasts a high concentration of Vietnamese-owned businesses.
Trinh-Le paid a combined total of $2.65 million for the properties in 2006, meaning the assets sold at a slight loss.
Nguyen said the buyer is interested in a long-term investment and is planning to put money into renovating the properties with hopes to expand tourism interest in the Asian market there.
"The buyer owns properties in other markets, but being that Orlando is in his own backyard he wants to do his best to make the area compete with larger markets around the country [with a strong Asian influence] like those seen in San Jose, California and Houston, Texas," Nguyen said.
The downtown Orlando neighborhood, coined as Little Saigon, was named in reference to the thousands of Vietnamese war refugees that fled their country in the 1970s and settled in Orlando and then opened a cluster of new businesses there.
The neighborhood has since garnered the likes of investors looking to preserve its culture and take advantage of the foot traffic drawn by many of the local mom-and-pop businesses.
Over the summer, Wendy Nguyen and Dung Tien Phan paid $3 million for a retail strip center leased to tenants including the Little Saigon Vietnamese Restaurant and the Tien Hung Oriental Foods grocery store.