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ORLANDO-The third highest per-sf-price has been posted for Downtown land with the $4.4-million sale of a prime 1.88-acre parcel at North Garland Avenue and West Washington Street. The land had been held by the seller for 25 years.

Locally based Central Associates No. 1 sold the corner lot for $53.72 per sf to Manohar Jain, a local real estate investor, completing a 1031 land exchange through LandAmerica Exchange Co. Charles J. Mitchell Jr. of First Capital Property Ground Inc. and Ron Rogg of the Orlando office of CB Richard Ellis Inc. negotiated for the seller. Bob Freeman, a former Orange County commissioner and a principal at locally based Robert Freeman & Co., represented the buyer.

Mitchell tells GlobeSt.com two recent deals topped the Garland-Washington corner transaction. Land for the redevelopment of the Holiday Inn at Hughey Avenue went for $75 per sf. In another sale, the city paid $63 per sf for a corner at Garland Avenue and Central Street.

Mitchell says the buyer is holding the site for appreciation. He says the parcel probably will continue to be used for some time as a parking area for the Century Plaza office complex. “The land was originally going to be the phase two and three of Century Plaza,” Mitchell tells GlobeSt.com. Phase one, which includes the First Banker’s Building/SouthTrust Building, was developed by Morley Properties in 1982. Besides parking, the lot is used to house a drive-in teller for the bank.

The broker tells GlobeSt.com the deal was done at this time by the seller “to take advantage of the rising land values” in metro Orlando. “Three offers were on the table before we chose the buyer,” Mitchell says. The land was on the market for 30 days before it went under contract. The deal took about five months to complete, from contract signing to closing.

Mitchell tells GlobeSt.com the 1.88-acre parcel has AC-3/T zoning, “the highest density zoning in Orlando.” That zoning could accommodate a high-rise condo tower with retail, he says.

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