Retail, dining and construction eyed in 1Q 2016 for parking garage beside Mango's

An architectural rendering of the Hollywood Plaza Parking Garage, planned for directly north of the Mango's Tropical Cafe Orlando on International Drive.
An architectural rendering of the Hollywood Plaza Parking Garage, planned for directly north of the Mango's Tropical Cafe Orlando on International Drive. (HHCP)

With Mango's Tropical Cafe Orlando set to open this Friday, Joshua Wallack now seeks plan approval for the Hollywood Plaza Parking Garage to neighbor it, with one retail-attraction tenant signed for the ground floor and a fine-dining partner sought for the rooftop restaurant.

Orange County planning staff is reviewing a Development Plan (DP) for the 226,502-square-foot parking garage on 1.62 acres, which includes 9,000 square feet of retail and 10,000 square feet of restaurant uses. The site is located at 8050 International Dr., just south of the intersection with W. Sand Lake Road.

After a tough battle to win approval for his $500 million Skyplex project, Joshua Wallack looks forward to better days ahead, including the opening next week of Mango's Tropical Cafe Orlando.

Wallack told GrowthSpotter on Monday a fully executed lease had been signed with an attraction tenant for part of the ground floor space, but he couldn't divulge the name yet due to a confidentiality agreement.

He expects to break ground on construction of the parking garage in First Quarter 2016, once lease agreements for the rooftop restaurant space and a second ground-level retail tenant are secured.

Wallack didn't know he was starting a property acquisition marathon in June 2011 that would last three years and seven months, with eight land parcels sourced from eight different parties, 17.43 acres assembled overall and $69.35 million invested in real estate alone. How the Wallack family found the land and financing to make their Mango's Orlando and Skyplex projects happen is a compelling real estate story.

Wallack said he is in "high-level negotiations" for a fine dining establishment to occupy the rooftop restaurant space.

"Once we close both of those other deals, we'll put shovels in the ground," he said.

Wallack settled a lawsuit in early November with Metro Corral Partners, owners of the Golden Corral restaurant on International Drive that's located directly west of his parking garage parcel. The I-Drive location is Golden Corral's top performing restaurant nationally.

Since then, Metro Corral Partners publicly supported Wallack's Skyplex entertainment complex project at its Dec. 1 rezoning hearing at the Board of County Commissioners.

In Part 2, of Anatomy of a Deal, we pick up in Summer 2013, when Joshua Wallack would begin building a vision and momentum for Skyplex to acquire the final six necessary parcels to make his projects work.

While he would not disclose the settlement sum, Wallack said the Hollywood Plaza parking garage design will provide more ground-level parking on the western side of the parcel for patrons of Golden Corral. Customers of the restaurant will also have a 90-minute grace period to use the parking garage.

With the property's Planned Development zoning clear of legal challenges following the settlement, county staff can review the detailed building plans of the parking garage's DP.

Wallack Holdings has yet to close on a construction loan for the parking garage but has a number of lenders interested, Wallack said.

The property was acquired for $5.3 million by Wallack in June 2014 from Walgreens. With the progress since at Mango's Tropical Cafe next door, the plans for an I-Drive Entertainment District directly across International Drive and Wallack's Skyplex project receiving county approval, the appraisal value of this parcel is likely to double.

"Because the bank would probably value this (parking garage parcel) now at as much as $10 million, I don't foresee us having to put down much equity to get the loan we want," Wallack said.

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.