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OR&L’s Robert Owens discusses Trump Tampa purchase

July 11, 2011 03:51PM

Robert Owens, CEO of Winter Park-based OR&L Facility Services and Owens Realty Network, which recently partnered on the $5 million purchase of the former Trump Tower Tampa site and CapTrust Building, has talked openly to the Orlando Sentinel about trying to convert the Trump development, a primarily residential complex, into more of a mixed use facility, combining hotel, office and retail.

“Initially we did not see the acquisition of the land as a quick turnaround or something that we would sell to another developer. We really saw it as a long-term investment, something that we would hold and let the market rebound,” he said. His new plan is only a concept, he told the Sentinel: “the full master plan has not been put together.”

OR&L sees the project as a long term development and does not intend to sell soon, Owens said.

“The city is amenable to mixed use,” he said. “We did not approach the zoning commission, but we felt that could be accommodated there. That is obviously a long-term process that involves seeking approvals from all of the governmental entities. Our first order of business is with the CapTrust Building, which is about 65 percent leased and we want it to be 100 percent leased. It wasn’t attractive to tenants because of the uncertainty of ownership.”

As for keeping the Trump name, as previously reported, Owens wants to give the complex a new lease of life. “I think the Riverwalk and the waterfront give it its own identity and desirability and its own ability to attract tenants,” he said. [Orlando Sentinel]