ORLANDO-In what may become one of the highest prices ever paid for a small, city-owned Downtown parking lot, Lincoln Property Co. has offered to pay $2.2 million, or about $73.33 per sf, for an estimated 30,000-sf parcel at Magnolia Avenue and Washington Street.

The developer is also offering to build a 550-space parking garage at an estimated hard construction cost of $5.5 million and make 400 of the spaces available to the public at night and on weekends.

Lincoln needs the less-than-three-quarters-of-an-acre parking lot to build an estimated $40-million, 27-story structure housing 150,000 sf of office, 50,000 sf of ground-floor retail and 125 rental apartment units. Lincoln has told the city it already has a tenant to occupy the entire office space–Dynatech Corp., a locally based software products developer. The structure would be called Dynatech Centre and have a tentative opening of Jan. 1, 2007.

City staffers tell GlobeSt.com that if the deal doesn’t go through with the city, elected officials will start a new round of negotiations with the No. 2 bidder, Atlanta-based Eichenblatt & Co. If those negotiations also fail, the city will turn to the No. 3 bidder, Chicago-based Westminster Partners and Churchill Development Group.

The city is offering no economic incentives package to any of the bidding developers, which it has done with several other multi-million-dollar commercial undertakings planned for Downtown over the next few years. Downtown brokers monitoring the various development proposals that have surfaced in the last 18 months tell GlobeSt.com the city has offered economic concessions packages valued at over $75 million to various developers over the past five years.

Commenting on the $2.2-million price tag on the Magnolia Avenue and Washington Street parking lot, Dean Fritchen, a senior broker in the Winter Park office of Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT, tells GlobeSt.com: “That goes to show you how little Downtown dirt is available these days and how much developers are willing to pay for a prime location, no matter how small the pad might be.”

GlobeSt.com research shows the highest price paid for Downtown dirt occurred in November 2003 when developer Cameron Kuhn and three lawyers at locally based Alvarez Sambol Winthrop and Madson paid retired British billionaire industrialist Joseph Lewis $10.8 million, or $4.72 million per acre ($108.26 per sf), for the vacant 2.3-acre Jaymont Block in the heart of Downtown.

The previous highest recorded price for a Downtown commercial property was paid by Lewis and his Orlando associates when they first bought the Jaymont Block in November 2001 from a Saudi Arabian syndicate for $7.6 million or $3.3 million per acre ($76.19 per sf).

But Bobby Palta, executive director of market analytics and geographic information systems in the local office of Colliers Arnold Real Estate Co., tells GlobeSt.com he recalls that since the Kuhn land purchase in 2003, “there have been small deals where the price has gotten up to as high as $90 per sf.”

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