Ivanhoe Village retail corner under contract for potential redevelopment

A local real estate investment and development group has a prominent retail corner under contract in Orlando's Ivanhoe Village, land primed for redevelopment as the neighborhood's population grows. 

Located at 1323 N. Orange Ave. on the southeast corner of Virginia Drive, the 0.33-acre lot is home to the the last remaining Harmon Photo shop, which opened in 1973 there in a 3,300-square-foot building. 

The property has been marketed for sale since July 2017 by Drew Forness of Forness Properties, most recently at $1.45 million. It was under contract briefly in the second half of last year but was dropped by the potential buyer. 

The site is now under contract to Orlando-based Property Investment Brokers (PIB), with a deposit that has gone hard and scheduled to close in roughly 150 days, pending soil remediation conditions the current owner must meet. 

Bobby Luthra, director of operations with PIB, acknowledged the contract for GrowthSpotter but declined to comment on plans to redevelop or reposition the property. 

Before serving Harmon Photo, the property was home to a fuel station and auto repair shop in the early 1930s. Minor soil remediation will be conducted over the next few months by American Environmental Consulting.

The prospective seller is an investment affiliate of David and Julie Harmon, owners of the Harmon Photo shop. The Harmon family had a chain of photo shop locations at one time across Florida. 

The Harmons don't plan to close the last Harmon Photo shop after selling the property, and are expected to relocate in the area to a smaller retail space, likely seeking around 1,200 square feet. 

Retail property owners in Ivanhoe Village stand to gain in the coming years from 890 or more new apartments within a block of Orange Avenue.

Vertical construction is underway on The Yard at Ivanhoe's planned 630 apartments and 57,000 square feet of retail, set to the east of Harmon Photo's property on Virginia Drive. 

And a half-block to the northwest, Alliance Residential Company and FINFROCK anticipate breaking ground in September on the nine-story, 260-unit Broadstone Lake House apartments

Three other prospective bidders showed an interest in the Harmon property in recent months. 

Foxtail Coffee held a pre-app meeting with city of Orlando staff in October to discuss redeveloping the site into a coffee shop with drive-thru window. No followup was made by Foxtail, per a city spokeswoman.

In January, Winter Park Cycles inquired with city staff about options to redevelop the property for a retail showroom, and local architect Steve Cold asked on behalf of a client about doing a "live/work" development that maintained the ground-floor retail building, while adding residences and storage space to a new second floor. Neither have followed up since. 

"(The client) wanted to build up and on top of the existing building," but the parcel's limited size and proximity to train tracks made it prohibitive, Cold said on Thursday. 

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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