ORLANDO-In a deal that has local land brokers shaking their calculators, the Orlando City Council has voted 4 to 2 to sell 3.5 acres in the Parramore district, one mile from Downtown, to a local developer for $252,812 or $72,232 per acre ($1.66 per sf). The city assembled the land package in the mid 1990s and paid a total $1.1 million, or $314,286 per acre ($7.22 per sf).

PSA Constructors Inc. has told elected officials it plans to build 37 “affordable homes” on the site with some of the residences being priced in the $500,000 range. About nine of the homes will be sold at below-market rates of about $162,000 as actual “affordable housing,” the developer has told the city. The project’s temporary name is Federal-Otey Place. The site is bounded by Parramore and Lee avenues, and Livingston and Federal streets.

Locally based Tienta Holdings LLC, offered $50,000 or $14,286 per acre (33 cents per sf). Tienta planned to construct 42 homes on the site. Another bidder offered $1 and demanded the city provide a $2.5-million economic incentives package. The city still has to take a second and third public vote on the PSA Constructors offer before the deal is sealed, according to city staffers.

Prime Downtown land, rapidly disappearing, has been selling for $1 million to almost $5 million per acre over the past three years, as GlobeSt.com previously reported on various individual transactions.

A senior city staffer tells GlobeSt.com the city had planned to take the price loss on the Parramore land to encourage rapid development of affordable housing in fringe areas skirted by most developers. “They did almost the same with the Orlando Naval Training Center land about nine years ago,” the city source tells GlobeSt.com.

In that scenario, Chicago-based Pritzker Realty Co., headed by Penny Pritzker, paid the city $5.8 million, or $5,306 per acre (12 cents per sf), for the 1,093-acre Naval Station property. The Pentagon had shut down the station in a cost-cutting move in 1997, as GlobeSt.com previously reported. The same dirt today could be valued between $300,000 and $500,000 per acre, according to area industrial brokers intimate with the land and surrounding real estate values. Pritzker built the mixed-use Baldwin Park development on the site, three miles east of Downtown.

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