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ORLANDO-Advised by associates at one time that condominium offices wouldn’t sell Downtown, local developer Cameron Kuhn has proved his critics wrong by selling $95 million worth of condo space, meeting a year-end groundbreaking and financing deadline. Kuhn wants to open the undertaking by spring 2006.

Kuhn needed $69 million in sales before Birmingham, AL-based Regions Bank and Banco Popular of Puerto Rico would commit development financing funds, area brokers intimate with the undertaking tell GlobeSt.com. A firm groundbreaking date for the three towers comprising 12, 17 and 22 stories, hasn’t been set.

The biggest condo office buyer to date is Premiere Trade LLC, a financial services and software products company headed by James Dix and based in suburban Altamonte Springs. Premiere Trade purchased 61,000 sf of condo offices for an estimated $12.2 million or about $200 per sf, Downtown brokers familiar with the project tell GlobeSt.com.

As the largest condo tenant in the 370,000-sf office portion of the project, the venture has been renamed Premiere Trade Plaza. It was initially called the Plaza. Besides the office component, the project will have 105,000 sf of retail and restaurant space, 310 residential condominiums, a 12-screen movie theater and a 1,600 space parking garage.

The City of Orlando provided Kuhn with cash, tax rebates and loans valued at $22.5 million for the project, as GlobeSt.com previously reported. The city is financing the $14-million garage with a 10-year loan to Kuhn at a so-far undisclosed interest rate.

The cinema will the first Downtown since 1970. The central business district still has no major department store. Premiere Trade Plaza will be built on four of the city’s highest profile blocks consisting of three acres and bordered by Orange and Magnolia avenues and Pine and Church streets.

The site is locally known as the Jaymont Block which other local and Saudi Arabian investors previously failed to develop over the last 15 years. Brasfield & Gorrie Inc. of Birmingham, AL is the general contractor for Premiere Trade Plaza. The project will represent the largest single construction job the Alabama firm has undertaken in metro Orlando, area construction industry sources tell GlobeSt.com.

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