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Temple owner holdout at soccer stadium site open to sell, but demand in question

Outlined in purple is the 0.443-acre Faith Deliverance Temple parcel. The 0.21-acre parcel highlighted in red is the one recently bought by Orlando City Soccer Club's stadium land affiliate. It is added to the 12.453 acres of city-owned property the soccer club bought in late June (striped area), and one 2.08-acre private parcel bought by the club in July 2015 (green).
Outlined in purple is the 0.443-acre Faith Deliverance Temple parcel. The 0.21-acre parcel highlighted in red is the one recently bought by Orlando City Soccer Club's stadium land affiliate. It is added to the 12.453 acres of city-owned property the soccer club bought in late June (striped area), and one 2.08-acre private parcel bought by the club in July 2015 (green). (Staff edit)

Faith Deliverance Temple, the lone holdout in Orlando City Soccer Club's assemblage of 15 acres for its new stadium in Downtown Orlando, is open again to selling after ending negotiations with the city two years ago, a member of the family ownership told GrowthSpotter.

Whether that opportunity has passed remains to be seen.

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Faith Deliverance was one of the first properties the City of Orlando tried to assemble in 2013 for a soccer stadium site it would later sell to OCSC. Since then, the average price per square foot the club has negotiated for its land is far below a peak-market offer the temple declined in 2014.

"The temple totally overplayed their hand and got zip when the city moved west," said Trevor Hall, Jr., director of land services with Colliers International Central Florida. "They have one buyer now. Nothing else is feasible there today, due to maybe 30 events per year and daytime pedestrian traffic near zero, with no disposable income."

More than a year of negotiations from 2013 through mid-2014 ended when Faith Deliverance declined a $4 million counter-offer from the city for its 0.443-acre parcel at 625 W. Church St., a value of $207.28 per square foot.

The temple property had been appraised in 2013 as high as $750,000 ($38.86 per SF).

At the time Jonathan Williams, son of the owner and founders of Faith Deliverance Temple, told the city they didn't want to move unless they were paid enough to build a new church. Faith Deliverance pitched back a $15 million counter, prompting the city to shift the stadium plans a block west to land it could more easily acquire, the Orlando Sentinel reported at the time.

Since then, no conversations have been had with any prospective buyer for the property, Williams said Thursday.

"We've resigned ourselves to the fact that this construction period will be a little rough, and just figured we'd rent the parking spaces to fans on game days," he said. "We're happy here, but open to proposals again."

OCSC went on to buy a neighboring 2.08-acre private parcel in July 2015 for $6 million ($66.22 per SF), paid $18.985 million on June 24 for 12.453 acres of city-owned property for the bulk of its stadium site ($35 per SF), and last week paid $538,900 for a final 0.21-acre private parcel on the southeast corner ($58.91 per SF).

Not counting an extra $3.1 million paid to the city as reimbursement for stormwater pond modifications, OCSC's land cost thus far has been just over $25.52 million, a cumulative assemblage cost of $39.745 per square foot.

Whether OCSC's stadium affiliate would want to complete the two-block assemblage, or has the funds in its project budget to do so, is unknown. The soccer club did not respond to requests for comment.

It would behoove the soccer stadium to acquire the parcel, but only at a price per square foot that stays within the developer's budget, said Robert G. Beaumont, Jr., state-certified general real estate appraiser with Valbridge Property Advisors.

"The other sales at $66 and $59 per square foot are relevant, but will not likely be acceptable to the church," he said. "Most sellers would be very pleased to achieve a price roughly double or triple market value of the property."

Considering the average between OCSC's two private parcel acquisitions is about $62.5 per square foot, an offer of $1.2 million for the Faith Deliverance parcel could be a starting point if the soccer club wants to complete its two-block assemblage.

"But if they've already designed around the temple and invested significantly in that engineering and design, the additional cost to re-engineer their plans may be a deterrant," said Michael R. Cliggitt, MAI and president of Cliggitt Valuation, Inc., an appraiser and commercial broker active in Orlando, Kissimmee and Lakeland.

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Faith Deliverance has held services for 35-plus years at the Parramore church. It bought the property in 1989 for $92,500, and built its current 4,660-square-foot building in 1997, which seats up to 300 people.

Williams said the reason ownership sought well in excess of the $750,000 appraisal value in 2014 was because the temple would need to move to a new home, potentially with new land and construction costs.

If relocating, the temple owners would want to stay in Parramore, and find a site or building that could accommodate a 300-seat capacity. Sundays currently draw a congregation of around 100, Williams said.

Comparable sale values are limited for property directly around the stadium that's being re-purposed for retail.

On the northeast corner of Terry Avenue and W. Central Boulevard, owners of downtown entertainment district Wall Street Plaza paid $1.45 million in March for 0.89 acres ($37.40 per SF), and a 16,000-square-foot warehouse. The group filed plans this month to renovate the property into a new brewery and outdoor beer garden.

"For the majority of the market you're now judging price based on the economic viability of that (Faith Deliverance) site," Cliggitt said. "Unless you can justify that this as a retail location would be superior to others in the downtown market, you'll have a hard time justifying the assemblage-related price level."

If not bought by OCSC to complete its assemblage, the property's location and Parramore demographics would make it a hard sell to national and regional dining concepts, said Cindy Schooler, senior vice president with SRS Real Estate.

"This location will require some creative incentives ... to help offset the cyclical activity and demand," she said. "Since there is not a strong business base surrounding the parcel, the opportunity to support substantial sales during non-game days will be challenging."

A retailer's investment near the soccer stadium has to be based in a long-term, optimistic view of revitalization for Parramore, said Adam Peyrouse, co-owner of the Broken Cauldron Taproom, which opened in June about 1,500 feet west of the new stadium site, on W. Church Street.

"Game days we have amazing traffic before and after the games. On non-game days it's definitely slower, just the average commuter traffic," he said. "It's a good investment, but a long-term one. You've got to be ready to be here. When we established our business here we were setting a five-year plan and beyond."

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Editor's Note: This story was updated Friday morning to correct a figure in the 10th paragraph, OCSC paid $538,900 for a final 0.21-acre parcel last week. 

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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