UPDATED: JULY 14, 2017 9:36 AM — Lincoln Property Company expects to begin tearing up gravel next week and testing pile depths on the site of its planned 28-story mixed-use Tremont Plaza tower in Downtown Orlando, and has a fourth office tenant now under contract, a lead executive with the company told GrowthSpotter.
"We're finally going to be putting up fence next week to start scraping up the gravel, do some test piles and begin the whole construction process shortly after that," said Austin Stahley, director of leasing.
"The first part of this phase is we do test piles to see how deep they need to go. We've been told by our contractor and the studies we've done that they need to be 70 feet deep. We'll see if those can be as much as 6 feet shorter; we're hoping we've just overplanned for what we actually need."
As many as 180 piles could be poured during the foundation process, Stahley said.
Ground was expected to break at the site in May, after an LPC affiliate paid $11 million in mid-April for the 1.5-acre property. The delay of more than two months can be attributed to a host of final challenges that come with preparing an estimated $100 million project, Stahley said.
"It was getting on board with our contractor and having all parties aligned for the bank loan, there's just a lot of moving parts to a project this size," he said. "Now it's all together after a two-year rollercoaster ride and I'll be happy to see it finally break ground."
Located at 225 S. Garland Ave. on the corner with W. South Street, roughly half the parcel is occupied by the 115-year-old Ballroom at Church Street events center, while its parking lot on the southern half will be the focus of site work for the tower's footprint.
Tremont Plaza is being marketed as a 28-story tower (25 floors accessible), with 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, an eight-story, 180-key AC Hotels by Marriott hotel, and 650-plus parking spaces across a nine-floor garage.
The building's entire construction time period should run 20 months, with LPC refining that schedule to forecast when a temporary Certificate of Occupancy could be acquired, and how buildout of individual office spaces could occur so that when the building opens, it does for tenants as well.
"I understand from the office pre-leaseing side that many interested (prospective tenants) are sitting around just waiting for us to start, so I want that fence up as soon as possible," Stahley said.
A fourth office tenant recently signed a pre-lease agreement to take a full floor of the building (28,500 SF): E|SPACES, an executive suite operator based in Nashville that will feature an open floor plan similar to coworking offices Canvs and WeWork.
LPC previously committed to 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.
A tax rebates deal that LPC struck with the city of Orlando, reported here June 27 as worth up to $4.225 million over five years, should go before City Council on July 24 for approval.
Negotiations for those incentives were prompted by the city's desire to see the southbound SunRail platform relocated a half-block northward to this property, something it couldn't get the previous land owner Tremont Realty Capital to do.
That commitment by LPC to build the SunRail platform as part of the lobby of its Tremont Plaza Tower, and the fact the building will feature a new hotel in Orlando's entertainment district and large-block Class A office space, drove the value proposition for a tax rebate offer, a city spokeswoman told GrowthSpotter in late June.