Avalon Park building up

One of the holdups for many new-home sales these days is that the buyers may be stuck trying to sell their current homes. Now one major local builder is trying to get around that with a "no-payment-for-six-months plan."

Mercedes Homes, through its mortgage subsidiary MHi Mortgage, will pay a home buyer's new mortgage for as long as six months while the buyer completes the sale of an existing property. The program differs from more limited ones in that Mercedes Homes, based in Melbourne, will pay all four parts: principal, interest, taxes and insurance.

Loan amounts can range as high as $417,000, and for owner-occupied deals as much as 95 percent financing is available, along with other seller incentives, according to Sue Stewart, president of MHi Mortgage.

Buyers must have a minimum credit score of 660 to be eligible. The MHi Mortgage Web site is www.mhimortgage.com.

Retail

Adler Group of Miami, one of Florida's oldest and largest commercial real estate companies, along with partner KEI Properties, has completed work on several retail projects, including Howell Branch Corners in Casselberry. On the northwest corner of Semoran Boulevard and Howell Branch Road, it has 15,000 square feet of retail space and tenants that include Starbucks Coffee, Quiznos and Planet Smoothie. The center is fully occupied.

Construction

SchenkelShultz Architecture in Orlando recently completed work on the Windermere/Whispering Oaks relief school, a two-story elementary school prototype. The $13 million school has 96,927 square feet of new work, including exterior, front-entry canopy, and interior technological advancements. . . .

LandMar Group has selected seven Central Florida home builders to construct single-family homes at Sugarloaf Mountain, a village-style club community in south Lake County featuring Florida's first Coore & Crenshaw championship golf course. Sugarloaf Mountain's participating builders are Brentwood Custom Homes of Altamonte Springs, Continental Inc. of Winter Park, Distinctive Homes of St. Cloud, Homes by Carmen Dominguez L.C. of Orlando, Imperial Homes of Orlando Inc., The Jordan Co. of Orlando, and Keith D. Field Inc. of Mount Dora. "We worked very hard to find builders who understand the type of community we are creating," Project Manager Scott Bullock said.

Leasing and sales

Grubb & Ellis Commercial Florida negotiated the $19.6 million sale of University Corporate Center Two to Great Point Investors LLC. Joe Rossi, senior vice president of investment services at Grubb & Ellis Commercial Florida and Associate Vice President Bret Felberg represented the seller, Minneapolis-based Opus Corp. . . .

The Orlando office of Cushman & Wakefield said that Rissman, Barrett, Hurt, Donahue & McLain P.A. renewed its 38,325-square-foot lease in Capital Plaza I in downtown Orlando. Matthew McKeever, senior director of office brokerage services, negotiated for the tenant and Catherine Reeves with Highwoods Properties represented the landlord. C&W also said the team of Lee Morris, industrial property specialist, and Allison Reynolds, associate, negotiated the sale of 4506 L.B. McLeod Road on behalf of the seller, Phase One Equities. The 77,641-square-foot warehouse, in the 33rd Street Industrial Park, sold for $5.4 million.

Model homes

Centex Homes has started construction of two model townhomes priced from the mid-$200,000s in Timacuan Park, located off Rinehart Road and Lake Mary Boulevard in Lake Mary. Carol-Ann Barody, director of marketing in the Orlando region, said Dallas-based Centex will build 50 two- and three-bedroom townhomes that will range from 1,900 to nearly 2,300 square feet of living space. The models will open in October.

Celebrations

Real Living Real Estate Solutions held a grand opening recently to celebrate the start of operations in Orlando and Central Florida. Real Living Real Estate Solutions is part of Real Living, a family-owned company based in Columbus, Ohio. The event, including a wine tasting and blackjack tournament, also raised money for Orlando's nonprofit Habitat for Humanity. . . .

Riviera Bella, a riverfront community in the Sanford-DeBary area, opened its Mediterranean-style clubhouse with a celebration attended by residents, real estate agents and potential buyers. The resort-style clubhouse features more than 5,200 square feet of amenities, including a state-of-the-art media/conference room, fitness center and a "beach-entry" pool.

Townhomes

The Cornerstone Group of Coral Gables, a leading multifamily builder, completed a townhome model in Regent Park, a 15-acre, 202-unit townhome community in Orlando. The 1,289-square-foot model features two bedrooms and 2.5 baths and is designer decorated. The unit is available for sale at $235,900 plus the cost of furnishings. Prices for other units begin at $169,900. Maitland-based Charlan Brock & Design Consult is the project architect.

Veteran management

Altamonte Springs-based Tilt-Con Corp. appointed longtime Orlando construction veteran Brian J. Morris as executive vice president. Morris had served in Orlando as vice president of URS Construction Services since 1999 and as general manager of Turner Construction Co. from 1974-96. Tilt-Con is a leader in tilt-up concrete construction and the largest company of its kind in the country.

CONTACT: Jerry W. Jackson can be reached at jwjackson@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5721.


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