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An undisclosed buyer just dropped a little more than $2.24 million for land abutting the Orlando Magic's Sports and Entertainment District, with plans to eventually develop the lot currently used for parking.

According to deed filed with Orange County Monday, West Side Venture Fund VII, LLC bought the 1.2-acre property on the southwest corner of W. Central Boulevard and S. Division Avenue.

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Lawfirm, BakerHostetler, represented the buying entity in the off-market deal.

Greg Lee, a partner at BakerHostetler, confirmed the confidential buyer purchased the site for "prospective future development."

The seller is tied to one of the largest industrial distributors in the nation, HD Supply. Greg M. LaVerghetta, HD Supply's vice president of M&A and real estate, signed the deed.

In 2006, the company— then a branch of Home Depot — acquired Hughes Supply in a deal valued at $3.4 billion.

At the time, Hughes Supply was one of only two Fortune 500 companies based in Central Florida, following Darden Restaurants Inc. HD Supply sold again in 2007 to three private equity firms and turned public in 2013.

Today, the company's headquarters is still located within the Hughes Square mixed-use project in a property commonly known as the "HD Supply" building. The Hughes Square project was master-planned and developed by a joint venture led by Trammell Crow in 2003.

It features 200,000 square feet of offices, about 25,000 square feet of retail, 266 apartments and a 1,000-space parking garage. 

The development marked one of the first large-scale developments in downtown's Parramore neighborhood, now recently at the center of several notable developments in the pipeline.

The lot that just sold sits adjacent to Orlando Magic's Sports and Entertainment District, with plans underway for hotel and multifamily components, along with 200,000 square feet of Class A office space and 100,000 square feet of marquee retail.

With groundbreaking anticipated sometime in 2019, the Orlando Magic and its new architect have revised the master plan for the long-anticipated Sports and

Nearby, development firm GreenTree Development Group is planning a $300 million Green District mixed-use entertainment project, set for two city blocks adjacent to downtown Orlando's Amway Center.

The new soccer stadium and UCF and Valencia's downtown campus at Creative Village, are other development projects helping boost property values in the region.

Magic's development affiliate, SED Development, paid $2.8 million to City of Orlando assembling the 8.4-acre district bordered by W. Central Boulevard, S. Hughey Avenue and W. Church Street.

The three-parcel site that just sold is roughly seven times smaller than Magic's site, yet it demanded nearly the same price for properties that are currently zoned Vacant Commercial.

Lee said, for now, no development plans are in the works.

Last year, Piedmont Office Realty Trust paid $28 million for the HD Supply building at 501 W. Church St. The company also owns CNL Center I and II, the SunTrust Center in downtown, and the 400 and 500 TownPark buildings in Lake Mary.

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The property is a block north of the city of Orlando's South Parramore opportunity zone, which stretches from West Church Street to West Core Street, between South Orange Blossom Trail and I-4.

Insight on the latest expansion of this national office realty trust's holdings in Greater Orlando.

The Opportunity Zones program, presented by President Trump's tax plan in 2017, allows developers and investors to defer and possibly forgo paying capital gains taxes if they invest in historically distressed areas.

Just recently the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced an initiative to encourage affordable housing investment within the thousands of designated Opportunity Zones nationwide.

Last month, a fund led by New Jersey Community Capital bought 83 units in Orlando's Parramore neighborhood.

The fund agreed to reserve half of the units for renters making less than 80 percent of the average area median income. The fund also promised not to increase rents more than 2 percent annually over the first decade.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at arabines@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-5427, or tweet me at @amanda_rabines. Follow GrowthSpotter on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

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