CB Richard Ellis Inc. has garnered a plum marketing assignment in development-conscious metro Orlando. The brokerage is earning a $400,000 fee for marketing Orange County’s 330-acre utility rainwater runoff site valued at an estimated $75 million.

The price equates to $227,272 per acre or $5.21 psf, not overly steep in a tourist section where nearby corner parcels on International Drive have gone quickly in past years at $1 million per acre, or about $22.95 psf. CB Richard Ellis’ fee translates to about ½% of a projected $80 million price for the dirt.

Commissioners decided to sell the land after realizing the tract was too valuable to maintain as a site for recharging the underground water table with rainwater and runoff. The county is taking the unusual step of hiring a private planner to rezone the for-government-use only status of the dirt to allow for commercial, hotel, time share and retail development.

County chairman Mel Martinez projects the rezoning effort will add about $9 million to the tract’s value. Canin Associates of Orlando won a $500,000 county contract to help rezone the land. The county estimates it will take about 18 months to find a potential buyer.

A leading Orlando purchasing candidate is Harris Rosen, the largest private hotelier in Florida. Rosen has been searching for a fair-priced parcel to build a 1,500-room resort hotel near the Orange County Convention Center. “We’ve been looking at the site for some time,” Harris tells GlobeSt.com. “We’ll wait and see how it appraises out.”

His other nearby assets are the 1,300-room Rosen Centre and the 800-room Rosen Plaza. The new hotel would have 250,000 sf of convention space and an 18-hole golf course.

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