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ORLANDO-Church Street Station owner Robert I. Kling thinks he has orchestrated the deal of the year in bringing night club and television personality Paris Hilton to his Downtown 28-year-old, 292,000-sf, four-acre mixed-use redevelopment.

Kling has signed a 15-year, 16,000-sf lease with local entrepreneur Fereidoun Khalilian who will own Club Paris. The lease has an aggregate value of “over $5 million,” Kling tells “This is no short-term deal,” the developer says. “This is the real thing.”

Downtown insiders tell Khalilian paid Hilton a seven-figure bonus for lending her name to the club. He plans to open five other Club Paris locations in London, Paris, Las Vegas, New York and Miami Beach. Khalilian is putting $2.4 million of his own money into extensive renovations of the leased space. Hilton, the 23-year-old heiress to a $3.2-billion Hilton Hotel fortune, put no money into Club Paris but contracted to appear at the club twice a month and to attend the New Year’s Eve club opening, Downtown insiders tell Club Paris will be located next to the former Cheyenee Saloon attraction.

On the planned Dec. 31 opening, Kling tells, “It’s a fast track, but we’re confident we can meet the deadline.” Renovations and retrofittings are scheduled to start next week. He says the 16,000-sf space is “the perfect size” for Club Paris’ plans. “Most clubs operate with about 10,000 sf to 15,000 sf,” says Kling, who has operated nightclubs in the past.

He and partner Louis J. Pearlman, an internationally known boy band creator and entrepreneur, bought Church Street Station in May 2000 for nearly $15.9 million from the Joe Lewis investment group of Orlando and London. At the time, Church Street Station was less than 50% leased and “headed for the white elephant status,” a Downtown retail broker who has found tenants for the development in the past, tells

Average asking base rents at Church Street Station are in “the mid-20s,” Kling says. The $5-million-plus Paris Club lease equates to about $20.83 per sf. Church Street Station is about 75% leased, Kling says.

Three other nationally known clubs were in the running for the space but “we decided Paris Hilton would provide the biggest draw for the Orlando community and especially for Downtown, ” Kling says. “ This is the attraction Downtown Orlando has been waiting for the last five years,” the developer says. “This is the attraction that will rejuvenate the entire Downtown district.”

Kling and Pearlman sold four of Church Street Station’s seven acres in July to the Florida Department of Transportation for nearly $12.3 million or about $3 million per acre ($70.30 per sf), according to Orange County real estate records. The transaction marked the third highest-priced land sale in Orlando annals.

Developer Cameron Kuhn holds the honors for having paid the steepest price for Downtown dirt when he and his partners shelled out $10.8 million, or $4.7 million per acre ($108.26 per sf), for the 2.3-acre Jaymont block in 2003.

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