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BTI Partners secures $12 million loan, now looking for more Central FL land

Fort Lauderdale-based BTI Partners is shopping for more land in the region to grow its Orlando-area portfolio.

The investment and real estate development firm, which already has multiple assets in the Orlando market, obtained a $12 million loan on June 28 from Florida Community Bank

“We are actively pursuing other opportunities in this area,” BTI Director of Acquisitions Justin Onorato told GrowthSpotter. “We are big believers in Orlando and the submarket. Our strategy really is to acquire large land tracts in the area.”

The loan was secured by 100 acres of land in Polk County’s Posner Park development at the U.S. 27 – Interstate 4 interchange. Greenspoon Marder and Morris, Manning and Martin provided legal counsel for the transaction.

Onorato said the liquidity makes it possible for BTI to enter into Joint Venture partnerships with prospective developers at Posner Park, which the firm acquired in 2015 after foreclosing on CDD bonds.

“We have contemplated certain development on that site,” he said. “We’ve actually received a lot of interest from multifamily developers,  retail, office developers and auto dealerships.”

Vacation home developers and limited service hotel developer/operators have also inquired about pad-ready sites, according to Managing Partner Noah Breakstone.

“We decided to bring Cushman & Wakefield on board to market and identify the best potential buyers to partner with us in the buildout of Posner Park’s mixed-use community,” Breakstone said.

The developed portion of Posner Park has over 600,000 square feet of retail which includes Target, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Ross Dress for Less, Michaels, and Cinepolis IMAX Theater.

Last year, BTI sold 30 acres to Intram Investments, which will soon break ground on another 200,000 square feet of big box retail. 

“There’s no limit on the amount of retail we can build at Posner — it’s really driven by the market,” Onorato said. “The only use that is prohibited is single-family detached.”

He said multifamily development is an especially attractive option for Posner because Polk’s impact fees are so much lower than in neighboring counties. 

C&W is currently evaluating the property and preparing marketing materials. Onorato expects the firm to “run the process” through the summer, and conclude in September. 

BTI is best-known locally as the owner of The Grove Resort & Spa in the Four Corners area. The firm has completed renovations at two of the condo-hotel towers and recently opened its $16 million Surfari Water Park.

BTI also sold land on Osceola Parkway in 2016 to the developer of Altis Shingle Creek luxury apartments.