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ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, FL-Ram Development Co. of Palm Beach Gardens plans an estimated $6.7-million, 65,000-sf strip shopping center off State Road 434. The 1.67-acre site is about seven miles north of Downtown Orlando.

The Bank of Birmingham in Alabama is providing a $5.66-million, one-year development loan at an interest-only rate of 30-day Libor, plus 2.15%. The Orlando office of Coral Gables-based Thomas D. Wood and Co. arranged the funding. Company managing director Doug Rozzell brokered the loan.

A Starbucks coffee shop and a bank will anchor the project. The site also includes two 100%-leased office buildings housing eight tenants and a small amount of retail space that is being renovated, Rozzell says. The shopping center is expected to break ground in second quarter 2006 with completion by the third quarter. “They should be able to do that project in 90 days,” Rozzell tells GlobeSt.com.

Ram is no stranger in Central Florida retail development circles. In summer 2004, the company opened the first phase of Orlando Square, a 191,978-sf power center at an estimated hard construction cost of $16 million. The 23.8-acre site previously housed the Daimler Chrysler auto parts distribution center five minutes from the 1.8-million-sf Florida Mall, the largest shopping center in Central Florida.

In May of this year, Ram paid Chula Properties Inc. of Palm Beach County $13.5 million, or $51.13 per sf, for the 264,000-sf, 92%-leased Pine Hills Marketplace at West Colonial Drive and Hiawassee Road in west Orlando.

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