Prior Commercial Real Estate Broker and Southern California Native Aaron Dan moved across the country to Orlando, Florida last year, he had heard several anecdotes about the region’s rapid growth.
Almost a year later, he’s seen firsthand what’s going on in Central Florida and why his new venture, Based in Dallas Lincoln Property Co. has big plans for the area. Dan, who joined the company last year as senior vice president of brokerage, is already helping Lincoln find office tenants for a new tower in downtown Orlando, retail tenants for a food and industrial tenants in the Interstate 4 corridor that connects Orlando to Tampa.
Orlando’s growing population and cost of living, Dan said, have boosted the area’s ability to attract new business, resulting in new demand for real estate. In response, Lincoln is moving forward with additional developments and expanding its team to serve customers, he said.
Companies “see the benefits of having a bunch of colleges and just growing in Orlando, which is what we’re excited about right now,” Dan said in an interview. “Of course, the housing market is still on fire right now, and that’s not going to stop anytime soon.”
Central Florida is proving popular among businesses looking to establish a profitable presence in the Sunshine State, Dan said. This demand, especially from technology companies, fueled Lincoln’s decision to develop the edge, a 32-story mixed-use tower with 200,000 square feet of office space on seven floors in downtown Orlando. Plans call for the Edge to also contain 240 multi-family units.
The Edge would be the next phase in the development of Church Street stations which stretches from South Street to Church Street and includes the new 28-storey Truist Square mixed-use tower, Bumby Arcade Food Hall and the Cheyenne Saloon, Dan said. Lincoln plans to begin demolition work next month to make way for the Edge and complete it in the second quarter of 2024.
“We’re seeing tenants looking to move out of older buildings both on-market and off-market throughout Central Florida, and then also in other states looking to move into Florida,” he said. -he declares. “Those tenants who want to move to Florida right now don’t necessarily want to go to Miami. They want to be something a little more affordable but also have a great working population.”
In January, Lincoln plans to open Bumby Arcade Food Hall in its creative office building in 126 Church Street West. next to the Edge, Dan said. Interior construction is underway on the food hall which will include a winery, brewery and speakeasy.
“We want to help fuel the growth of downtown Orlando,” he said.
Industrial development is also an area of focus as the market remains strong in Central Florida, Dan said. Lincoln has between 3.4 million and 5.5 million square feet of space in its pipeline, he said.
“You can’t build it fast enough right now,” he said of the industrial space. “There’s so much demand for large industrials, which is really exciting. And that’s why we’re growing our industrial leasing team right now.”
Lincoln just hired a broker Alex Eastwood as Director of Brokerage to focus on leasing its new industrial space. Eastwood joined Lincoln earlier this month from Avison Young.
“We’re thrilled to have him on board, and hope to have a few more join us next year,” Dan said.
As Lincoln focuses its industrial efforts along the I-4 corridor, the company said it is also considering sites in other Florida cities, including DeLand, Daytona and Jacksonville. The company plans to begin construction in earnest on three central Florida industrial sites in the first quarter of next year, Dan said.
Prior to leaving California, Dan worked for more than nine years at Lockehouse Retail Group, a boutique retail brokerage that has its headquarters in Walnut CreekCalifornia.
Dan, who has a brother in commercial real estate, said he became interested in a career in the industry while studying development at the University of Southern California. Bret Nielsenadjunct professor at USC whose day job is to work as senior vice president of leasing and asset management at mixed-use development company Caruso, had a lasting impact on Dan.
“It really got me interested in both the retail and mixed-use, as well as the rental aspect,” he said.
Dan and his wife decided to move to Orlando, where his wife had family, after the birth of their child. His wife, Desiree Stahley Danworks as Vice President of Marketing at Lincoln.
Dan, who grew up near Anaheim, Calif., and was working in Northern California when they moved, said he really loves Orlando.
“It’s a little warmer, a little humid, but other than that it’s been fantastic,” he said. “We’re in a really cool neighborhood, the Lake Nona neighborhood, where a lot of Orlando’s growth is headed.”
Lisa McNatt, Director of CoStar Market Analytics, contributed to this article.