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Orlando-based company gains a foothold in the Altamonte Springs Uptown district market

Lot 2 was recently acquired by Cranes Roost LLC, which owns Lot 5. Together the vacant properties total about 3.7 acres and neighbor a proposed mixed-use development that will include a high-rise apartment building.
Lot 2 was recently acquired by Cranes Roost LLC, which owns Lot 5. Together the vacant properties total about 3.7 acres and neighbor a proposed mixed-use development that will include a high-rise apartment building. (City of Altamonte Springs/Seminole County Property Appraiser/GrowthSpotter)

Cranes Roost LLC, an Orlando-based investment vehicle led by general contractor Tom Harb, president of Harbco Development, and Craig Macnab, CEO at National Retail Properties, is assembling land in Altamonte Springs’ Uptown district.

The partners just grew their footprint in Uptown Altamonte by nearly two acres. A recently recorded deed in Seminole County shows Cranes Roost LLC paid $1.35 million for a 1.96-acre parcel at 291 E. Altamonte Dr. The vacant plot of land is adjacent to another one of Cranes Roost LLC’s properties: a 1.7-acre plot of land at 185 Cranes Roost Blvd.

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Together the fenced-off properties total about 3.7 acres. Both plots of land are vacant and located between Cranes Roost Park and the Altamonte Mall, near where family-owned real estate and construction firm Gilbane Inc. is proposing to build a towering apartment complex.

The seller, RP Altamonte III LLC, is a company registered to the Los Angeles offices of real estate investment firm RPD Catalyst.

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Records show the LLC bought the nearly 2-acre parcel in 2008 for more than $1.75 million, at the height of the real estate market. At the time, embattled developer Stuart Rubin, CEO of RP Realty Partners, signed for the property. It’s unclear if Rubin is still involved.

News reports about Rubin tie him to a failed $45 million luxury hotel near the site of the Coachella music festival. In 2019, lenders Calmwater Capital and U.S. Real Estate Credit Holdings moved to foreclose on the project site. The developer also reportedly faces complaints by hotel project contractors Silhouette Outdoor Furniture and Doug Wall Construction for payment defaults, according to The Real Deal.

Richard Pachulski, a co-owner of RPD Catalyst and a debt attorney with Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones, signed off on the most recent deed in Seminole County as manager. Hold-Thyssen Inc., a full-service commercial real estate firm based in Winter Park, brokered the deal.

Hold-Thyssen’s Martin Forster said the sellers were ready to move on from the property. He adds the assemblage provides a broader range of development opportunities and a higher value for the conjoined properties.

“The essence of the entitlements for the combined property is greater than the entitlements of each property singularly, and as a consequence, you’re able to build a much more ambitious project,” Forster told GrowthSpotter.

The parcels are zoned for general commercial and mixed-office commercial use.

Frank Martz, Altamonte Springs city manager, said no site plans for the site have been submitted. Original plans called for building up to 15,000 square feet of commercial space on the recently acquired lot (Lot 2), but Martz said the parcel had access challenges if developed as a stand-alone.

“It was the odd parcel that the original master plan really had no good idea how to use,” Martz said.

Executives at National Retail Properties and Harbco Development were not immediately available to comment.

ATC Lakeside Dev LLC, an affiliated company to Harbco Development, owns most of the 3.75-acre development site across from the partners’ assemblage. The location is where Gilbane submitted plans to build a 346-unit multifamily development that will connect to a new six-level parking garage via a pedestrian bridge suspended above Uptown Boulevard.

According to city documents, a portion of the property (Lot 3) can feature up to 11,300 square feet of restaurant space, 8,700 square feet of retail space and 55,000 square feet of office space.

As of the end of June, National Retail Properties owned 3,173 properties in 48 states with a gross leasable area of approximately 32.7 million square feet.

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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