Bellows buys retail and office building at Ravaudage, plans to expand footprint

Ravaudage developer Dan Bellows paid $5.7 million on Friday through an affiliate to reacquire an anchor piece of his 73-acre Winter Park project, buying a multi-tenant restaurant and office building with plans to expand.

The seller was an affiliate of Unicorp National Developments CEO Chuck Whittall, which bought the 0.32-acre lot in September 2013 for more than $1.789 million from Bellows' own Benjamin Partners Ltd., and built in 2015 a two-story commercial building with roughly 16,000 square feet of conditioned area on the corner of Lee Road and N. Orlando Avenue. 

"I think it's a great building right in the middle of a growing Ravaudage and we were grateful Chuck was willing to sell it when we asked," Bellows told GrowthSpotter of the off-market deal. 

The six-tenant building currently has four spaces occupied, which include two medical offices, a real estate office and nail salon. 

The two main ground-floor retail spaces are vacant, after Tony Roma's closed its TR Fire Grill in February (5,500 square feet) and restaurant Zona Fresca closed in January (3,120 SF).

Bellows said he plans to expand and improve the building and those anchor dining spaces in the coming months. 

That includes opening up the bar area of the former TR Fire Grill and expanding it further into the open plaza to add more bar and cafe seating. New signage and landscaping will be added as well, Bellows said.

A 7,200-square-foot development pad on the north end of this building will also be activated for a new three-story addition, which Bellows said is in design phase now. 

Bellows' own Sydgan Corporation will lease and manage the retail-office property and lead construction of the new addition.  

Winter Park-based attorney Michael C. Maher is co-manager of the single-purpose investment company with Bellows. The buyer sourced a $4.275 million mortgage from Fairwinds Credit Union to complete the acquisition.

The last two restaurants tenants struggled to draw consistent customer traffic to their doors in recent years as development progressed slowly at Ravaudage, but new construction starts this year have Bellows confident the retail space will draw interest. 

Alliance Residential Company opened the first 268-unit phase of Ravaudage apartments in February, The Bainbridge Companies is under construction on another 278-unit multifamily project, and construction starts are anticipated this year for a new memory care facility, self-storage and retail building, and a new Hilton Garden Inn. 

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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