ORLANDO—It was no chimichanga, but the morsel served up by a small Taco Bell property to the Orange County government still carried a chunky price—$1.82 million for a 1.074-acre site. That price equates to $1.69 million per acre, or $38.90 per sf.

The 46,783-sf Taco Bell, on tourist-heavy International Drive in South Orlando, had blocked planning progress of a $500-million expansion to the 1.2-million sf Orange County Convention Center. Taco Bell had previously refused to sell the property.

If the parties hadn’t settled, the county could have seized the real estate under the state’s eminent domain statute and paid Taco Bell what it considered to be a fair market value price. Prime corner parcels on International Drive, Orlando’s major tourist corridor, have sold for $500,000 to $1 million per acre in the past two years. National gas station owners have been the buyers in many of the transactions. Orange County needed the Taco Bell parcel to raise $300 million in revenue bonds to finance the expansion’s first phase. The Taco Bell will be demolished by year-end.

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