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City closes stadium land sale for $22.085M to Orlando City Soccer Club

City closes stadium land sale for $22.085M to Orlando City Soccer Club
An update from the live construction camera for Orlando City Soccer Club's new stadium, as of June 27. (Orlando City Soccer Club)

Orlando City Soccer Club closed its purchase on Friday for $22.085 million on 12.453 acres of public property where it is currently building a new privately financed 25,500-seat soccer stadium in Downtown Orlando.

The final purchase price for the land includes an extra $3.1 million contribution from OCSC to reimburse the city for costs that are anticipated for stormwater pond modifications, which was part of the sales agreement that went before City Council back in January.

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That extra $3.1 million was tacked on to the estimate of $18.985 million reached in late April after a boundary survey was completed that measured the city's property at 12.453 acres (542,431 square feet), GrowthSpotter reported on May 10. That estimate was calculated with a previously agreed upon sale value of $35 per square foot.

The new soccer stadium's total footprint will cover roughly 14 acres between W. Central Boulevard to the north, W. Church Street to the south, Glenn Lane to the west, and S. Terry Avenue to the east. That includes one 2.08-acre private parcel bought by the club in July 2015 for a separate $6 million.

Twenty separate taxable parcels owned by the city were included in the latest sale deed on Friday.

OCSC sourced a mortgage worth $18.076 million from the City of Orlando to help finance the acquisition, per a loan agreement signed on Friday as well.

The shaded area above represents what the city of Orlando sold to Orlando City Soccer Club in this transaction. Twenty separate parcels of city-owned property are included. An additional square parcel in the middle was acquired from a private seller in July 2015.
The shaded area above represents what the city of Orlando sold to Orlando City Soccer Club in this transaction. Twenty separate parcels of city-owned property are included. An additional square parcel in the middle was acquired from a private seller in July 2015. (City of Orlando)

OCSC began construction on the stadium back in October 2014, and the club has an agreement with Major League Soccer to have it ready for use in 2017.

The club went before the city's Appearance Review Board on June 16 for a major certificate of appearance approval for its master sign plan for the stadium, which was recommended for approval by ARB. Those minutes will go before City Council for approval on July 11.

A separate recommended approval from ARB for the stadium's south facade back in February was appealed. A quasi-judicial hearing was held May 26, after which the hearing officer has 45 days to make a recommendation, a window of time that remains open, according to a city spokeswoman. That recommendation will ultimately come before City Council as well.

The city's land was first estimated at 11.8 acres (514,008 square feet) in a sale contract made public on Jan. 20, producing an initial $18 million estimate. City staff said the boundary survey could show the land exceeded 12 acres, which it did following the survey conducted in late April by WBQ Design & Engineering, Inc., of Orlando.

With a projected investment of $156 million to build the stadium, the club is months into recruiting as many as 99 foreign investors to fulfill a $49.5 million offering for EB-5 permanent visas as part of its private capital stack to finance the project, GrowthSpotter reported May 10.

Gonzalo Lopez Jordan, managing partner with American Regional Center Group out of Miami that is coordinating the EB-5 recruitment in Latin America, expects the financing method to contribute less than 20 percent of the project's capital stack.

Amidst a sea of development projects across the United States competing for foreign EB-5 investors, OCSC's soccer stadium is uniquely attractive because the club has already proven through two seasons that it has a strong, steady revenue stream.

The City of Orlando has previously invested $11 million on land and site improvements for the stadium and contributed $4.15 million to add sewer capacity.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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