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  • 07/23/2019 3:44 PM | Debbie Colangelo (Administrator)

    Lennar Corp. — the largest homebuilder in the U.S. — wants to build a massive resort-style development south of a $500 million-plus project near I-Drive.

    The Miami-based company (NYSE: LEN) plans to build 240 condos, 200 townhomes and 62 single-family homes on 68 of 77.3 acres south of the mixed-use Dezerland car museum and entertainment complex, according to records obtained from the city of Orlando. Orlando Business Journal previously reported an unnamed buyer was under contract for 68 acres for a “very large resort type of project."

    Lennar couldn't be reached for comment. In addition, Miami-based Southern Hill Real Estate Inc. President Randall Hill, who represents the landowner, Coral Gables-based I Drive Investors LLC, declined to comment.

    The Lennar project may include a park, several lakes, pools, a lazy river component and more. Lennar, along with its engineering team, held a meeting with the city of Orlando on June 5.

    Source:  OBJ

  • 07/16/2019 3:02 PM | Anonymous

    CFCAR Members and Non Members gathered in the lounge at Citrus Club yesterday evening to hear from four professionals that earned a Hallmark Award this year. Not only was this a great learning event it was a networking dream - the best of the best met and discussed deals and  found new deals to close. Join us in the coming months for more after work mixers and get more deals done. 

  • 07/09/2019 7:34 PM | Debbie Colangelo (Administrator)

    A property with the longest private airplane runway in the country at 7,550 feet is on the market. Fly-in community Jumbolair is for sale for $10.5 million

    “There’s a lot of history. I’m really excited to see what someone will do with this property and take it to the next level,” said Bartow McDonald IV, Managing Director of SVN Florida Commercial Real Estate. “Our client bought it, built a very large home personally, and has decided he wants to move on to the next chapter of his life and that’s why he’s selling.”

    The area has had a bit of a turbulent past, having been sold to the current buyer at auction back in 2010 after court papers say previous owners stopped making payments the year before.

    Located about an hour from Orlando in Marion County near Ocala, Jumbolair features 550 acres zoned for low density residential, M-1 industrial, and A1 and A3 agricultural use. In addition to the runway, there is more than 88 thousand feet of warehouse space, a mansion with a pool, a banquet hall with seating for 400, plane hangars, rental homes, apartment units, mobile homes, pastures, and more.

    The 550-acre site near Ocala is adjacent to the Adena Country Club. It's home to the longest private runway in the U.S. (SVN)

    “This property has more dynamics than I have ever worked on,” McDonald said. “There are 30 different assets that are income-producing.”

    The runway is the property’s most unique feature and when it was first built, it cost $6 million. Runway 17FL currently has both a Visual Approach Slope Indicator System and a Precision Approach Path Indicator System. A huge 747 could land there.

    “Somebody once said, putting an offer on a mile of road will get you to a few places, but a mile of runway will get you anywhere in the world,” McDonald said. “I think that’s one of the appeals of Jumbolair is not maybe the property, but what’s beyond the property and people’s ability to access anywhere in the world from their private estate. It’s just remarkable.”

    Home lots with deeded runway access sold out in the first phase of Jumbolair. Actor John Travolta owns one of the original homes, often flying his since-retired Boeing 707 in and out of the neighborhood. Another 17 two to three acre estate lots with runway access are available for new residential construction.

    The area of Jumbolair is very close to Adena, a multi-acre golf course and country club property which is also for sale. “I could very easily see a group having an interest in purchasing both, and doing some kind of a magnificent development,” McDonald told GrowthSpotter.

    There is also potential in the former Muriel Vanderbilt Mansion and Conference Center. Once used for weddings and other events, the current owner closed it several years ago and it has been empty ever since. The conference center has a commercial kitchen and the mansion has five bedrooms, a pool, and six bathrooms and is 7,686 square feet. Two horse barns with enough stalls for at least 20 horses are nearby.

    Muriel Vanderbilt was a thoroughbred horse owner and breeder and part of the well-known Vanderbilt family. She owned an 80-acre horse farm in part of what is now Jumbolair. Vanderbilt died in 1972. Arthur Jones, founder of Nautilus, also lived in the mansion. Various pieces of original Nautilus exercise machines are part of the sale.

    With all of the different assets, the potential buyer could be just about anyone.

    “Where’s the buyer going to come from we don’t know,” McDonald said, adding the purchaser could want a new home, a place for a plane, room for horses, development opportunities, or something else entirely. “It is a lot of it’s a lot of moving parts. It’s very dynamic. There’s lots of opportunity with it and I’m really excited. It will be fun to see where this ball bounces.”

    Source:  GrowthSpotter

  • 06/25/2019 3:12 PM | Debbie Colangelo (Administrator)

    A South Korean group — headed by global giant LG Corp. subsidiary LG Electronics Inc. — plans to build a major development in Osceola County.

    The development, dubbed LG Smart Town Center, will spread over 25 to 30 acres and have up to a $500 million budget in the county’s NeoCity tech hub. The town center is part of a larger effort to bring South Korean companies to expand their U.S. presences in the 500-acre campus.

    The future development will include smart homes, retail and other buildings along with innovation labs. The county and the South Korean group aim to ink a development contract by this fall, said Mark Miller chairman of NeoCity Links, an organization paid by Osceola County to recruit businesses to NeoCity.

    LG couldn't be reached for comment.

    “LG is by far the leading company in smart city technology in the world,” Miller said. “This has moved very quickly, and they’re very excited about doing it.”

    The groundbreaking timeline isn’t known. Other details about the project will be revealed as part of the contract. Outside of LG, the South Korean group also includes Haeahn, which is South Korea’s largest architectural firm, and Pohang University of Science & Technology.

    Osceola County officials — along with executives with Bridg, a Kissimmee-based tech company with a presence in NeoCity — for years have worked with South Korean firms in order to attract more investment in NeoCity.

    Meanwhile, two construction projects continue at NeoCity:

    • Bridg’s $25 million, four-story, 100,000-square-foot office building is expected to open in late July with 50,000 square feet of space available for future tenants.
    • NeoCity Academy high school's $15 million, 45,000-square-foot building will be completed in the fall. Right now, the school's students are housed temporarily at Gateway High School.

    Osceola County expects to bring dozens of manufacturing, technology and defense firms to NeoCity and aims to create 127,000 jobs at the site in the next 50 years. NeoCity currently has the 109,000-square-foot Center of Neovation, which is an advanced manufacturing center.


    Source:  OBJ

  • 06/14/2019 10:57 AM | Debbie Colangelo (Administrator)

    In April 2018, after 20 years of work, CFCAR Member Brad Parker realized the completion of the sale of 1,300 acres of land in Lake County.   The broker-salesperson with Southern Realty Enterprises was able to close a $75 million dollar deal that will result in a heavy western expansion in Lake County.

    The massive deal known as “The Hills of Mineola” closed and development of once agricultural land began a transformation that will go on for the next 10 to 15 years.

    The buyer, JEN Partners, purchased the land and it was recorded April 17, 2018 under JEN FL 30 LLC, from a family whose patriarch had assembled the land decades earlier.  The Legal Description covered 11 pages in the deed.

    JEN Partners is now working on the construction plans for almost 400 new homes approved under phase I last year and a 297-unit apartment complex approved in 2017. Preliminary approval of another 1,700 homes is expected early this year. A developer is also working on plans for the first cluster of businesses in the project’s commercially-zoned area, which includes one large anchor store and four to five outparcels.

    City planners said the actual development was approved by the county about 15 years ago, then by city officials after it was annexed into Minneola years later.

    Since then, it remained dormant awaiting the completion of the Florida Turnpike Interchange, which opened in May of 2016. 

    “The land was mostly timber,” Parker explained, “and until the interchange opened, it was hard to get it across the finish line,”

    Brad Parker explains that upon completion over the next 10 to 15 years, the Hills of Minneola will bring in up to 4,170 new residences, more than 900,000 square feet of retail or commercial services, 892,500 square feet of office space, 1,470,000 square feet of space for industrial, a hospital, a hotel, medical and research, about 520,000 square feet for a new school and other institutional development, a large park, loads of green space and a site for recreational uses still to be determined.

    It has also spurred the construction of new roads, including Citrus Grove that will provide a direct connection between U.S. Highway 27 and Hancock Road. City Manager Mark Johnson said the project will provide a larger tax base for the city and a reduced tax burden for property owners, and it will boost property values of existing homes in the area while creating hundreds of high-wage jobs.

    “I literally began working on this 20 years ago.  I had so much time invested, I just wanted to finish the work,” Parker explained.  “I love working with land, it’s the basis for all construction, the foundation of everything we do in the development side,” he added.  “So, working on such a large parcel of land was fascinating and challenging.”  

    Parker shared that the land owner, F. Browne Gregg, died in late 2014, at the age of 92 and yet Parker continued the mission of selling the land while representing Gregg’s family. 

    But it wasn’t quite the same. Gregg was a World War II hero, who was promoted to Captain in 1945 after receiving the Silver Star, five additional air medals and accumulating over 37 missions. Later, Gregg’s love for engineering and construction lead him to become one of Lake County’s most recognized entrepreneurs. He built Florida Crushed Stone Company into a large corporation that included business segments in aggregates, cement, lime as well a power plant.

    Recognizing that this transaction demonstrates the greatest degree of experience and dedication, complexity and/or perseverance, Brad Parker was selected as the recipient for CFCAR's Deal of the Year.  

  • 06/11/2019 6:04 PM | Debbie Colangelo (Administrator)

    Orlando Health wants to change the use of a swath of land on its downtown campus to help it expand.

    The $3.4 billion nonprofit health care provider filed plans with the city of Orlando to change the zoning of about 5.26 acres spread over 13 parcels of land south of Lake Beauty from medical office and mixed-use to urban activity, which would match the zoning of the three hospitals already on the campus. Currently, the land up for rezoning features five office buildings which total 68,842 square feet, as well as parking lots and vacant land. "

    "The requests call for a change in land use to accommodate new patient care facilities and campus enhancements and to expand a specially designated transit area to create more flexibility to support important growth," Orlando Health spokeswoman Kena Lewis said in an emailed response to Orlando Business Journal. "Both requests address properties generally located on the south side of the campus."

    Orlando Health did not reveal any timetable on any action related to future development of a potential expansion/redevelopment of the land. The zoning change is currently on the municipal planning board agenda for July 16 at 8:30 a.m. The health care provider previously announced plans for a new one-story, 6,800-square-foot Orlando Health Imaging Center at 1800 S. Orange Ave. as well as a nine-level, 895-space parking garage for staff and patients, which could be as large as 161,000 square feet with an attached five-level, 42,000-square-foot medical office building. Construction of the imaging center is expected to be completed by fall 2019, while the parking garage/medical office is set to open in 2020.

    Orlando Health also added to its downtown campus with a couple of land purchases in the past several months:

    • On Nov. 19, it paid $1.64 million for a roughly 1-acre parcel with an existing 18,000-square-foot office building at 1300 S. Division Ave., north of Kaley Avenue near its Orlando Regional Medical Center.
    • On Sept. 28, it bought a 1.5-acre parcel with a 30,000-square-foot warehouse at 1402 Sligh Blvd. for $2.03 million in downtown Orlando, which it previously leased from the seller, rail company CSX Corp. (Nasdaq: CSX).
    • On June 18, it bought a vacant half-acre lot at 121 W. Copeland Drive in downtown Orlando for $833,500.

    Orlando Health's eight Central Florida hospitals have a total of 3,300-plus beds. It has the area’s only Level One Trauma Centers for adults and children, and is a teaching hospital system. Its hospitals are: Orlando Regional Medical Center, Dr. P. Phillips Hospital, South Seminole Hospital, Health Central Hospital, the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies, South Lake Hospital and St. Cloud Regional Medical Center. It also owns 11 urgent care centers in the region, as well as several cancer centers, freestanding ERs and more.It is one of the region's largest employers, with 23,000 workers.

    Source:  OBJ

  • 06/04/2019 2:36 PM | Debbie Colangelo (Administrator)

    Sue Odena is a long time resident of Central Florida and has been passionate about her community commitment.  When she relocated to Daytona Beach three years ago, she could have slowed down and taken it easy.   She had accomplished much by the time she decided she wanted to live within walking distance of the cool waters of the Atlantic Ocean that she loves so dearly.   But that wouldn’t be the Sue Odena that we know and love.

    Instead of letting up, this founding member of CFCAR quickly committed herself to making Volusia County a better place to live while continuing to serve clients across all of Central Florida.  Sue jumped into learning more about her community by volunteering with the Volusia County Sheriff OfficeThe Affordable Housing Advisor Committee for Volusia County and Daytona Beach as well as other affordable housing initiatives; a 17-year veteran of a leading caregiver support organization helping those with dementia live a better live.  She spearheaded a Women of CCIM Event in and on Daytona Beach that included a hard hat tour of the then under-renovation Hard Rock Hotel.

    She passionately devotes herself toward her causes; her clients; her professional community; her church; and always toward her family.   She gives back to CFCAR, to CCIM, to her community and to her associates at Black Pearl Real Estate

    A Licensed Real Estate Broker in Florida since 1985 and a CCIM Designee since 2000. Ms. Odena's other certifications includes CSA. Ms. Odena specializes in assisting individual investors in the acquisition/disposition of multi-tenant and multi-family properties, owner user properties and land as well as landlord and tenant representation. She has extensive experience in special use and religious properties as well as business opportunities. Sue is affiliated with Daytona Beach Area Association of RealtorsCentral Florida Commercial Association of Realtors (Founding Board Member and former Chair Education and Development Committees, Instructor Fundamentals of Commercial Real Estate), Central Florida District CCIM (Former President / Board Member, Liaison CFCAR), National Association of Realtors, and the Florida Association of Realtors.

    Past Honors include CCIM of the Year Central Florida District CCIMModerator International Marketing Century 21, Committee Member and Instructor for the Orlando Regional Realtors Association and Business Brokers of Florida. Sue has also enjoyed affiliations and continuing relationships with the Daytona Regional Chamber of CommerceCentral Florida Christian Chamber of CommerceFBBAITCHFBCLeadership OrlandoCREW and ICSC.

    Because of all of this and more, Sue Odena has been awarded with the 2019 CFCAR Community Service Award!  

  • 05/20/2019 10:50 AM | Debbie Colangelo (Administrator)

    Central Florida's unemployment rate hit a milestone in April it hadn't hit in 13 years.

    The region had an unemployment rate of 2.7% last month, the first time the area's rate went below 3% since April 2006 when the rate was 2.8%, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. That rate was down 0.5 percentage points year-to-year and down from 3.1% in March.

    The rate was lower than both the U.S. (3.8%) and Florida (3.5%) unemployment rates for the month. (Click through the slideshow above for a look at the top 10 cities for creating business service jobs.)

    Here's the unemployment rate by county:

    • Orange and Seminole: 2.6%
    • Osceola and Lake: 2.9%
    • Sumter: 4.4%

    Monroe County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate (2%), followed by St. Johns and Okaloosa counties (2.4%); and Orange, Seminole, Alachua, Collier, Lafayette, Wakulla and Walton counties (2.6%).

    Metro Orlando led the state again in March with a year-over-year gain of 44,600 jobs. Metro Miami was No. 2 with 27,800 jobs gained, and Metro Tampa fell to No. 3 with 24,700 jobs added.

    Twenty-two out of 24 metro areas in Florida had year-over-year job gains for February. Panama City was the only area to lose jobs year-over-year.

    Meanwhile, the Orlando area had the highest annual job growth compared to all state metros in:

    • Professional and business services, up 15,300 jobs
    • Leisure and hospitality, up 8,700 jobs
    • Mining, logging, and construction, up 4,700 jobs
    • Manufacturing, up 3,100 jobs

    The metro had the second-highest annual job growth compared to all Florida metro areas in:

    • Education and health services, up 5,900 jobs
    • Government, up 1,900 jobs
    • Information, up 100 jobs

    Other local industries adding jobs were:

    • Trade, transportation and utilities services, up 2,300 jobs
    • Financial activities, up 1,300 jobs
    • Other services, up 1,300 jobs

    Meanwhile, this local industry shed jobs in March:

    • Retail trade, down 900 jobs

    Source:  OBJ

  • 05/09/2019 9:18 AM | Debbie Colangelo (Administrator)

    Florida tops the list of the most popular U.S. states for commercial foreign buyers.

    Source:  NAR

  • 04/22/2019 3:57 PM | Debbie Colangelo (Administrator)

    A sleepy part of downtown Orlando near the site of the former Amway Center has awakened in recent months as construction workers bring to life the long-planned dormitory, classrooms and recreation center that will comprise the new shared UCF and Valencia College campus.

    But the idea of living alongside professionals might be slow to take hold with students. Just 40 percent of the roughly 600 beds in the yet-to-be-finished dorm have been reserved. It’s too soon to know how many students will register for courses on the new campus. Some, however, won’t have a choice because a few programs are moving there.

    With a planned fall semester opening, University of Central Florida Interim President Thad Seymour told the Orlando Sentinel recently he thinks there’s a “growing energy and momentum” surrounding the new campus, which is expected to serve 7,700 students.

    “Early on, I do think it took some people some time to get their heads around the idea that ‘Oh, I’m actually going to be teaching downtown or my classes are all going to be downtown,’” Seymour said of the new complex, which promises to reshape several blocks of downtown west of Interstate 4.

    Though most of the trappings of traditional college life — football games, the student union, Greek life — will remain 15 miles away on the university’s main campus in east Orange County, school leaders hope the opportunity to be close to internships and potential employers will lure students downtown.

    “It’s very exciting for Orlando that we’re going to be able to bring this game-changing program to life this fall,” said Michael Kilbride, the assistant vice president of the downtown campus.

    The idea of taking classes downtown initially didn’t appeal to Sierra Scott, who is double majoring in political science and legal studies, one of the programs shifting to the new campus. The school was slow to provide information, said Scott, a junior who first learned about the planned move during her freshman year. But after attending an open house and going on a hard hat tour of the construction site, she said she sees the potential benefits.

    “All these opportunities they’re giving to us makes it more worth it than I initially thought,” said Scott, who plans to attend law school after she graduates from UCF next spring.

    But while Scott said she’s excited about taking classes downtown next year, she intends to live five minutes from the main campus so she can remain active in student organizations based there.

    While UCF students in the nine undergraduate majors that will be based at the downtown campus are encouraged to take courses outside their majors there, it’s not required.

    Shuttles between the main campus and downtown will be provided for commuters. If UCF students choose to take general education requirements at the new campus, they’ll be in classes alongside Valencia peers, who can earn associate degrees there and then transfer to the university through the DirectConnect program.

    UCF leaders say one of the key benefits of being at the new campus for their students is the proximity to potential internships and employers. For similar reasons, students in the Rosen College of Hospitality Management attend classes on a separate campus near International Drive.

    For legal studies majors like Scott, the university estimates there are 786 companies and organizations related to the field in four downtown ZIP codes, compared with 31 surrounding the main campus. Students also will be within walking distance of the Orange County Courthouse.

    The move also will make it easier for faculty members to attract guest speakers to legal studies classes, said Alisa Smith, chair of the department. And the program will have a mock courtroom for students to hone their skills. Smith agreed the prospect of moving downtown is becoming more palatable as the opening date approaches.

    “Even the people who had reservations are seeing the promise that downtown holds,” Smith said.

    Students in the handful of communications majors moving downtown are generally excited about the prospect, said Jennifer Sandoval, an associate professor. But she said there’s some anxiety about being separated from amenities like clubs, activities and the student union building.

    “I hope we’re going to create our own unique campus environment so students don’t feel like they’re missing out,” she said.

    That’s what university leaders hope to do.

    One of the most striking parts of the new complex is a 15-story building that will include the dorm, as well as classrooms and Valencia’s culinary arts and hospitality programs. Across Livingston Street is the new Dr. Phillips Academic Commons, which will include more classrooms, a library and space for studying and tutoring. It’s all part of the 68-acre Creative Village, which also will have offices and mixed-income housing.

    There’s still plenty of work to be done on the new campus before employees and students are expected to move in this summer. Students interested in the new dorm, for instance, can’t tour the facility yet but can view a model unit.

    Still, Seymour said the campus will be ready in time for the first day of fall classes Aug. 26.

    “We’re on schedule, on budget,” he said. “We’re not just easily coming in for a landing, but it’s on the glide path and we’ve got a great team working on it, between us and our Valencia partners.”

    At Valencia, existing faculty members interviewed for positions downtown because they wanted to be part of the new campus, said Eugene Jones, the college’s executive dean of the campus.

    Aside from offering opportunities to existing students, university and college leaders say they want to make higher education accessible in an underserved area that’s a 20-minute drive from Valencia’s west campus. And for people who want to improve their skills but aren’t interested in a two-year associate degree program, Valencia will offer a few short-term job training programs that last between eight and 22 weeks.

    “We really think it’s going to be a paradigm shift for the residents of that community and all of downtown,” Jones said.

    Source:  Orlando Sentinel

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