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SoDo developer sells shopping center for $30.5M while planning new mixed-use project nearby

The 57,747-square-foot Plaza Ecco shopping center is anchored by Publix. Other tenants include Starbucks, Twistee Treat, Jersey Mike’s Subs and Sport Clips.
The 57,747-square-foot Plaza Ecco shopping center is anchored by Publix. Other tenants include Starbucks, Twistee Treat, Jersey Mike’s Subs and Sport Clips. (Intram Investment)

Blurock Commercial Real Estate and Intram Investment just sold the retail commercial portion of its ECCO on Orange mixed-use development in Orlando’s SoDo District.

According to a deed recently recorded in Orange County, Baltimore-based Continental Realty Corporation paid $30.5 million for the 57,747-square-foot retail plaza anchored by Publix at 3107 S. Orange Avenue. The deal breaks down to about $530 per square foot.

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Plaza Ecco opened in 2019 and was originally anchored by a Lucky’s Market, before the grocery market chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early 2020 and decided to close 21 Florida locations including its SoDo District one. Shortly after, Publix bought the ground lease, which lasts through 2039, according to online marketing material.

CRC financed the deal with a $16.32 million loan for Idaho-based A10 Capital. CRC specializes in investing and operating commercial and multifamily real estate developments in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. According to its website, it’s raising money through its private equity fund, Continental Realty Fund V L.P., that will focus on value-add retail and multifamily across the east coast.

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Intram Vice President Randy Hodge told GrowthSpotter the retail site it recently bought in SoDo sold 100% leased. JLL’s Brad Peterson and Whitaker Leonhardt brokered the deal. Tenants at Plaza Ecco include Jersey Mike’s Subs and Sport Clips, as well as stand-alone buildings currently occupied by Starbucks, PDQ, and Twistee Treat.

The sellers, Intram and Blurock, began assembling the roughly 12 acres that make up the current ECCO on Orange community around 2014, investing close to $11 million for the property, which is bordered by S. Orange Avenue to the west, Butler Drive to the south, Center Street to the east and E. Pineloch Street to the north.

At the time, the property consisted of two small mobile home parks.

Today the site is made of up the retail plaza as well as a 4-story, 300-unit Cortland On Orange apartment building at 3203 S. Orange Ave. developed by Altamonte Springs-based LeCesse Development Corporation in 2019.

About two blocks south of the project, Blurock Commercial Real Estate is planning what would be its second mixed-use development in the hot SoDo submarket.

The company spent about $5 million assembling roughly 6 acres along S. Orange, Magnolia and Rosalind avenues with the intention to build 78,450 square feet of medical offices fronting on Orange Avenue and multifamily residential on the blocks between Magnolia and Rosalind.

The multifamily portion of the proposed mixed-use development Blurock Commercial Real Estate is planning at the intersection of Orange Avenue and Drennen Road, sits between Magnolia and Rosalind avenues.
The multifamily portion of the proposed mixed-use development Blurock Commercial Real Estate is planning at the intersection of Orange Avenue and Drennen Road, sits between Magnolia and Rosalind avenues. (City of Orlando)

The latest plans represent a significant reduction in density from an earlier submitted concept, which drew scrutiny from planning a design review committee members for its density and appearance.

In most recent plans, the developer is seeking to phase the project out, starting with the multifamily. Current development entitlements being sought would give the developer room to build up to 144 multifamily units across a mix of 3-story and 2-story buildings fronting Rosalind. The initially proposed concept featured 5-story multifamily buildings.

Amenities include a dog park and a community clubhouse with a pool.

The project is tentatively scheduled to go before the city’s MPB next month. Representatives at Blurock Commercial Real Estate did not return calls and emails for requests to comment. Rebecca Wilson, shareholder with Lowndes, is representing the company on the annexation and entitlements. Kelly, Collins & Gentry is the civil engineer.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at arabines@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 491-3357, or tweet me at @amanda_rabines. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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