Even with sweeping views of downtown Orlando and Lake Eola, the 10th floors of the Plaza office towers drew little interest at an auction of developer Cameron Kuhn's properties last year.
So auctioneers are going to try again.
On Nov. 19, Worldwide Auction Realty Services will offer the space divided into 12 office condominiums, with no minimum bid.
"The space to be auctioned has never been offered for sale before as individual office suites, so we anticipate substantial interest from investors, end-users as well as industry observers," said Roger Soderstrom, owner of Stirling Sotheby's International Realty, the firm representing the property.
What is unique about the 10th-floor space is that it includes a walkway connector between the two Orange Avenue towers and, with a total of 61,545 square feet of space, is the single largest floor plan in the city center.
Buyers can bid on the entire space or on suites that range in size from 2,585 to 7,285 square feet.
Kuhn, who developed the project, said Monday that a buyer could purchase space for $130 to $140 a square foot and offer leases for about $10 a square foot less than the going rate downtown.
"It is the best location, the best pricing ever will be," he said. "It will never be that price again."
Launched in 2004, the Plaza is the largest redevelopment project in Orlando history. Kuhn, with the backing of the city, demolished old storefronts and moved quickly in an attempt to capitalize on strong demand at the time for commercial and residential condominiums. The project was substantially completed in late 2007, though by then the real-estate market had begun sinking.
In May 2008, when Stirling Sotheby's International Realty Auction Services auctioned 55,000 square feet of office condos in the towers, the average sale price was $162 a square foot.
According to John Gilbert, a senior vice president in CB Richard Ellis' Orlando office, the appetite for office condominiums locally has waned to the point that the auction may yield prices of only $100 a square foot, down from $250 a square foot at the peak of the market several years ago.
"The fundamentals downtown for leasing are very weak, and the capital markets are basically shut down," Gilbert said. "Buyers would have to have cash."
The Plaza's two towers include 394,000 square feet of office space, 105,000 square feet of retail/restaurant space, and the 12-screen Plaza Cinema and cafe.
The block also includes 306 residential condominiums in the Solaire tower.
Mary Shanklin can be reached at 407-420-5538 or email@example.com.