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ORLANDO-Locally based BVC Corp., also known as Buena Vista Corp. headed by Sharm Maharaja, has beaten out a dozen competitors in the $47.5-million purchase of the 214-acre Marbella tract one mile from the entrance to Walt Disney World. Meridian Capital Group of New York arranged a three-year, interest-only $40-million loan on the former Ruby Lake Ranch site.

The contract price equates to $221,962 per acre or $5.09 per sf, one of the largest land deals of its kind in Central Florida this year. The seller was RTD-ONE Inc. of Sarasota, a company owned by the family of Donald T. Regan, the late Secretary of the Treasury and former White House Chief of Staff in the Ronald Reagan administration. Regan died in 2003. Marbella is on the west side of Interstate 4, south of Sand Lake Road in south Orange County.

The much sought-after prime tract has been chased by potential buyers for the last eight years, according to GlobeSt.com research. The land has been master-planned for hotels, large retail development, timeshares and themed restaurants. The tract was appraised in March 2003 at $57 million, Regan’s son, Donald T. Regan Jr., told GlobeSt.com in a previously published Oct. 28, 2004 article.

Regan Jr.’s company, Combined Capital Realty Services, represented RTD-ONE Inc. in the transaction. Avi Fuchs and Ari Lieberman of Meridian’s Boca Raton office negotiated the loan for BVC Corp. headed by Sharm Maharaja. Included in the purchase were five acres on the east side of Palm Parkway where 72,000 sf of class A office is tentatively planned, Regan tells GlobeSt.com.

Marbella was originally 270 acres in size, but when it was first sold in 1997, the property was listed at 135 net acres which is also the net size of the BVC purchase. Jean Pierre Cuenant, a Paris-educated lawyer and president of JPC Development Corp. in suburban Winter Park paid $34 million or $125,926 per acre ($2.89 per sf), as GlobeSt.com previously reported.

The deal at that time stood as the largest land transaction in the past five years in Central Florida, based on price. Cuenant had planned to sell off the tract in separate parcels for individual development of hotels, timeshares, retail, restaurants and offices. Half of Marbella was eventually sold off to various developers but the property never attained its projected heights as a premier commercial community, area brokers familiar with the undertaking tell GlobeSt.com.

When Cuenant couldn’t keep up loan payments on Marbella, Regan’s company, Combined Capital Realty Services of Sarasota, bought the property back at a Nov. 1, 2004 public foreclosure sale in Orlando. The senior Regan had initially purchased the tract as a long-term investment under the corporate name of RTD-ONE Inc.

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