A Boca Raton-based investor paid $5.2 million on Monday to take ownership of a valuable vacant parcel near the Mall at Millenia, after winning a legal dispute last year with a local development partner.
The new owner told GrowthSpotter on Tuesday he'll now seek real estate consultants to advise on the site's best and highest use, including development with a previous retail concept plan -- or sale outright.
The 2.8-acre undeveloped parcel lies in the 4000 block of Millenia Boulevard, just north of Panda Express, and northeast of the boulevard's intersection with Conroy Road.
It's one of the last undeveloped parcels in a sea of retail and restaurants feeding off traffic from the Mall at Millenia.
The buyer was MSGold Holdings Orlando LLC, an affiliate of Boca Raton-based Marc S. Goldman. Goldman sold his third-generation family dairy business in 1999, and has since invested in a variety of real estate and business ventures.
The seller was Millenia Office Park LLC, an affiliate of Orlando-based builder and developer Skorman Construction's president Marc Skorman.
Goldman was an original investment partner in the property in 2007 with Skorman, his son Kevin Skorman and Jolie Skorman Berkowitz. Goldman put up all the capital, contributing $3.45 million to the LLC for a 50 percent stake, while the Skormans contributed no equity, and held the remaining 50 percent between them.
Marc Skorman was managing member of the LLC, with the 2.8 acres originally zoned for development as an office park. Shortly after the partners executed the operating agreement, the U.S. economy entered a severe recession, making the office park plans no longer feasible.
Skorman and Goldman began considering the property for a retail center in 2012. Concept plans were produced in April 2013 to develop the site with multiple retail buildings.
Goldman paid to rezone the property for retail in late 2013, and by April 2014, Skorman had a construction budget of $4.57 million for the retail center, according to court filings.
During that rezoning period, Goldman and the Skormans began to disagree over the operating agreement, and how they would be paid following retail development. Goldman wanted to enforce the agreement as written, while the Skormans claimed he consented to change it after the rezoning.
Goldman's capital contributions and interest had totaled $8.3 million as of May 2016. A Ninth Circuit Court judge ruled that month in favor of Goldman to dissolve the business entity, with options for each party to buy the other's interest, or put the land up for sale.
Monday's sale follows an order on Feb. 7 by a Ninth Circuit Court judge, granting Goldman permission to buy the property outright after his offer was higher than a competing offer by the Skormans.
Proceeds from the sale will be routed back to Goldman, in order to repay him for his invested capital in the original land owner LLC, and interest.
The sale included an assignment to Goldman of all development rights, entitlements, surveys, plans and more that had been previously produced for the property.
"I'm just starting to look now at what the options are for the property, and will try to make the best determination that I can. My interest is to move forward rapidly," Goldman said.
"There had been some preliminary (development design) work done during the time I was in the partnership with the Skormans, so I have to get together all of that stuff."
The City of Orlando had previously given an extension to approved plans for the property, but construction had to start before the end of 2016 or the retail rezoning could be lost.