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Developer buys Central Station acreage

Developer buys Central Station acreage

By Mary Shanklin, Orlando Sentinel

4:01 PM EDT, June 26, 2013

A chunk of prized downtown property – land adjacent to what will be Sunrail’s main downtown terminal – sold to a developer who plans to start work this year on 275 apartments and retail space.

RIDA Development Corp. sold two acres across from the Orange County Courthouse on the northern portion of the planned 5.6-acre Central Station project to Crescent Communities of Charlotte, N.C.

As planned, Crescent Central Station will include apartments, amenities, and 12,000 square feet of urban retail space along Orange Avenue. Crescent and RIDA will extend “Gertrude’s Walk” to Amelia Street, build a one-acre urban park and other pedestrian space. Plans for the overall project call for office space, a hotel, and additional ground-level retail on the overall development site.

The property has been relatively slow to enter the increasingly competitive downtown-Orlando apartment scene. The sale that was announced Wednesday comes as SteelHouse apartments were completed at Orange Avenue and Colonial Drive earlier this year and as the NORA apartments are well underway on North Orange Avenue. Developers are also nearing completion of SkyHouse, which is next to the Orange County Courthouse.

Even though plans for the first phase of Central Station are unlikely to be completed with next year’s opening of SunRail, a 61-mile commuter rail project, developers are anxious to tap the new transit line.

“Central Station will demonstrate the broad range of benefits that can be achieved with transit oriented development,” said Marc Reicher, RIDA’s senior vice president of operations. “Crescent Communities is helping us fulfill our partnership with the public sector, further enhancing the investment being made in Orlando’s public transportation.”

mshanklin@tribune.com or 407-420-5538

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