UPDATED: MARCH 20, 2019 6:55 PM — Unicorp National Developments has sold one of its marquee retail properties to help finance future construction at its billion-dollar O-Town West mixed-use project.
CEO Chuck Whittal on Wednesday confirmed the company has sold the two Winter Park retail assets -- Lakeside and Lakeside Crossing -- for a combined $63,500,000. Lakeside Winter Park, anchored by Trader Joe's and Shake Shack, has more than 36,000 square feet of leasible retail space on Lake Killarney. Just across Orlando Avenue, Lakeside Crossing features Chuy's and Bulla Gastrobar and has its own parking structure.
The properties were sold to InvenTrust Properties Corp., a Downers Grove, Illinois based corporation.
Whittall said the deal came together in about six weeks.
"It was an unsolicited, all cash transaction," he said. "We had no intent on selling. But we have so many active projects with O-Town West and throughout Central Florida, for our growth strategy it made sense to take capital off the table."
Chris Covey, one of the REIT's acquisition directors, told GrowthSpotter in 2016 the firm was actively seeking more assets in this market. "We're bullish on Orlando for the long term, we like what's going on in the economy there," he said.
A new boutique hotel is being proposed just south of the Lakeside property on a 2.5-acre assemblage on Lake Killarney. The Ranch Mall shopping center just south of that property is also slated to be redeveloped by Hill Gray Seven.
This was Unicorp's second retail divestiture in the last month. The company sold a Walgreen's and Wawa on International Drive in February for a combined $23.3 million.
Proceeds of the sales will help finance development of more Wawa stations, as well as the projected $1 billion O-Town West mixed-use district near Disney. Unicorp is scheduled to close Aug. 29 on the 82 acres at Daryl Carter and Palm parkways and begin construction right away, Whittall said.
"This doesn't change our timeline," Whittall said.
The first phase, which includes the tower, would have 400 units, multiple pools, jogging trails, dog parks and amenities, and a resort-style clubhouse with a restaurant.
That followed the December DP filing for the 14.5 acres of retail at the intersection of Palm Parkway and Daryl Carter Boulevard, to be anchored by a 24,000-square-foot specialty grocer.