$4 Million Financing Deal Breathing New Life Into Historic Downtown Orlando Entertainment District

Church Street Station South, received $4 million in post-acquisition financing that may signal a return to its more glorious past.  

“Church Street Station South will be completely transformed and integrated into the master development plan that is underway with the adjacent mixed-use towers. It will breathe new life into the entire district that hasn’t been felt there for a few decades,” Michael Weinberg, HFF Senior Managing Director, told GlobeSt.com.

After the larger Church Street Station complex opened in 1974, downtown Orlando became a major tourist and resident destination. In 1985, it drew 1.7 million visitors. That made it the fourth largest tourist attraction in Florida, trailing only Orlando’s Walt Disney World and Sea World, and Busch Gardens in Tampa. The complex near a downtown railroad depot (where it got its name) contained five showrooms that offered live jazz, blues, country and Top 40 music, as well as retail stores, a midway and restaurants. Local and legendary entrepreneur Bob Snow who developed a similar smaller project in Pensacola later went on to unsuccessfully imitate it in Las Vegas. Several unsuccessful attempts to revive it in Orlando were part of its more recent history. High-rise residential and commercial building has continued in the area. Among them a 28-story office under construction by Lincoln Property Co. at Garland Avenue and South Street. It will be called SunTrust Plaza at Church Street Station and become the new home of 90,000 square feet for SunTrust operations. HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler) this week announced $4 million in post-acquisition financing for Church Street Station South, the 50,888-square-foot, mixed-use property that today houses a variety of popular restaurants and event spaces in downtown Orlando. The HFF team worked on behalf of the borrower, a partnership between Lincoln Property Co. and Mason Capital Partners, to secure a senior loan with Mercantil Bank. The borrower intends to directly integrate the property with their adjacent Church Street Plaza development. The first phase is a 28-story tower containing 215,000 square feet of Class A office, an AC Marriott hotel and a parking deck, all currently under construction. The property is visible from Interstate 4, which boasts traffic counts of more than 140,000 vehicles per day and is directly adjacent to a station along the SunRail, Orlando’s commuter rail system. With portions of the property originally built in 1886, the site already boasts some of the most unique and beautiful venues in the city and houses popular restaurants and event spaces, including Hamburger Mary’s, El Buda, Pepe’s Cantina, the Orchid Room and the Cheyanne Saloon. The HFF debt placement team representing the borrower included senior managing director Michael Weinberg and managing director Rebecca Van Reken.  

“The Church Street Plaza development is a landmark project that will further cement Church Street Station as the ‘go-to’ locale for downtown residents, employees, visitors and students to gather,” Van Reken said. “This historic property is a linchpin connecting Orlando’s past to its future.”

  Source:  GlobeSt.


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