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Lincoln Property Company pays $11M for site of Tremont Plaza tower, ballroom

Lincoln Property Company pays $11M for site of Tremont Plaza tower, ballroom
A view looking east from I-4 of the 1.5-acre site on Garland Avenue that was acquired for the Tremont Plaza tower project. The Church Street Ballroom is on the far left. (Lincoln Property Company)

An affiliate of Lincoln Property Company paid $11 million on Friday for the Downtown Orlando site of its planned 28-story mixed-use Tremont Plaza tower project, acquiring with it the popular Ballroom at Church Street that could be redeveloped in the future.

Located at 225 S. Garland Ave., roughly half the 1.5-acre parcel is occupied by the 115-year-old ballroom and events center, while the southern half is its surface parking at the northeast corner of Garland and W. South Street.

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The seller was an affiliate of Tremont Realty Capital out of Newton, Massachusetts, owner of Church Street Station downtown. Tremont was first approached by LPC executives in late 2013 with their pitch for a new tower now estimated near $100 million, for which LPC would serve as master developer with equity partners.

Highlighted is the 1.5-acre parcel on S. Garland Avenue in Downtown Orlando home to the Church Street Ballroom, which was purchased for planned redevelopment into a 28-story tower.
Highlighted is the 1.5-acre parcel on S. Garland Avenue in Downtown Orlando home to the Church Street Ballroom, which was purchased for planned redevelopment into a 28-story tower. (Orange County Property Appraiser)

In buying the property outright from Tremont, this is LPC's project going forward. Robert Mason of Atlanta-based Mason Capital Partners is involved in the deal as an investment partner, representing multiple investors in the project, per documents filed with Orange County.

Calls to Mason and LPC were not returned on Monday. The developer had a building permit request for a construction fence recently approved by the city, and work is expected to start on the site in May.

Tremont Plaza is being marketed in 2017 flyers for 214,800 square feet across seven floors of office space, 5,000 square feet of ground-level retail, 10,000 square feet of meeting space, and 650-plus parking spaces across a nine-floor garage. A nearby SunRail station is planned to be realigned at the new building.

An updated rendering of the proposed Tremont Plaza tower project (28 stories), looking northwest from South Street, with Garland Avenue to the left.
An updated rendering of the proposed Tremont Plaza tower project (28 stories), looking northwest from South Street, with Garland Avenue to the left. (HuntonBrady Architects)

Floors 18-25 are planned for an eight-story, 180-key AC Hotels by Marriott hotel, to be accessed by guests from the ground via an express elevator to the tower's 18th floor.

In November, hotel developer Concord Hospitality Enterprises said it was negotiating a joint venture with LPC to develop, co-own and manage the hotel portion of the tower. Concord is now confirmed as a partner, and hotel operator.

Office brokerage sources in downtown said Monday the pre-lease tenant makeup for Tremont Plaza remains the same as last year.

LPC has previously said it would move its own Southeast region office to the new building, as would project architect HuntonBrady with its downtown office, and general contractor Austin Commercial LP with a new 7,000-square-foot regional headquarters.

Fairwinds Credit Union was previously on board in 2015, but in October 2016 announced it was opting out of the project due to delays, the Orlando Sentinel reported at the time.

In a declaration of grants and easements signed on Friday, LPC and Tremont state that LPC intends to develop a 25-story (original height proposal in 2015) office, hotel and retail tower on its parcel, in the area where the ballroom's parking lot is now. In the future, LPC may choose to raze and redevelop the ballroom building.

The agreement details how the ballroom could be razed, if that comes to pass, without disturbing the shared wall of Tremont's Church Street retail buildings to the north.

While building the Tremont Plaza, LPC plans to subdivide its new parcel into two platted lots, so that only the portion with the ballroom building is subject to the agreement.

The land buyer, Lincoln Church Street LLC, immediately deeded over at no cost portions of the property to two similarly named entities, setting the stage for subdivision into a tower lot, and one that holds the ballroom building for a potential Phase 2 redevelopment of that site.

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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