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Fort Lauderdale investor buys into Orlando market with rehab vision for auto mall

Aerial rendering of the property on E. Colonial Drive after construction and renovation work is complete in converting the main segment into an Avis Car Sales lot.
Aerial rendering of the property on E. Colonial Drive after construction and renovation work is complete in converting the main segment into an Avis Car Sales lot. (provided)

A Fort Lauderdale-based real estate investor made his first Orlando-area acquisition last week on busy E. Colonial Drive, with plans to renovate and market as an automobile mall anchored by a new Avis Car Sales dealership.

Aron Elkaim, through his company Colonial Auto Plaza LLC, paid $2.355 million for two buildings at 6363 E. Colonial Drive, according to a deed signed April 10 and recorded Tuesday.

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The seller was an affiliate of Florida Community Bank, which had been marketing the property since the fall of 2016 through Holly Carver of Lightle Beckner Robson.

The buildings total about 30,000 square feet, Elkaim said, set over 3.68 acres. The property is fully leased with Avis Car Sales now expanding its footprint to take up nearly half the space and all the frontage on Colonial Drive.

Other auto-related tenants include Avis-affiliate Budget car rental, Hi-Tech Neon Design, Antillana Car Service Paint Shop,and Car Castle Auto Repair.

"What we're going to make it into is an auto mall with Avis the main anchor in the front," Elkaim told GrowthSpotter. "I don't see why I can't get a Jiffy Lube or another brand name on the site to make it really desirable."

Elkaim said he has already started painting the outside of the building being used by Avis. The space used as the auto showroom will also be renovated and the parking lot repaved.

"We're in the process of renovating and it's going to look a whole lot better," Elkaim said of the two buildings, which date to 1965.

"Avis has started to take a lot of the frontage in that front building, adding signs and flags," he said. "They're going to really make it a five-star dealership with that prime frontage on Colonial Drive. It will really look nice."

Elkaim said he expects to spend about $450,000 on repairs and cosmetic upgrades to the buildings. Elite Construction of Fort Lauderdale is handling the renovations.

Elkaim said he found out about the property from contacts at Florida Community Bank. He has purchased three other properties from the bank, two in Daytona Beach and one in Tallahassee, but this is his first Orlando-area acquisition.

"I really think it's a great property," he said. "It has easy access to the highway, we're across from Home Depot, minutes away from the airport and Disney. Orlando is growing. I think it's a home run for me."

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at newsroom@growthspotter.com. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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