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Oct 09, 2020

Real estate private equity firm completes $10M renovation of apartment highrise on Lake Eola


October 8, 2020

By Amanda Rabines



The 16-story Paramount on Lake Eola tower that anchors Publix in downtown Orlando’s Central Business District has undergone a $10 million renovation following a condo termination that gave Northland Investment Corporation full control of its 313 residential units.


With new apartment construction on the rise in the area, Devin Evangelinos, Northland’s vice president of asset management and capital projects, said the company was bent on better positioning units to remain competitive with the inventory of available apartments and future apartments in the pipeline.


“We looked at some of the newer construction properties and looked at what they’re offering and began matching that in both size and quality,” Evangelinos said.


The end-goal, he said, was being able to present a building to the market that looked brand new. To date, the $10 million operation serves as one of the largest renovation projects within the area in recent history.


As part of the $10 million renovation, the property owner modernized and expanded the apartment tower’s common areas.


The property is located south of Lake Eola at 415 E. Pine St., and features a fourth-floor rooftop swimming pool, grilling stations and cabanas, fitness center, outdoor fireplace lounge and dedicated resident parking.


As part of the renovation, Northland incorporated more common spaces for tenants to work communally, while keeping a distance, and updates to amenities including its pool area and fitness center.


In addition, units were significantly upgraded to include granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, luxury lighting fixtures, USB outlets and smart apartment technology.


Northland also invested in expanding its leasing office and applying new signage, exterior paint and landscaping features.


“One of the major differences between a condominium building and multifamily, is a condo building will tend to have a smaller office dedicated to sell condominiums,” Evangelinos said.


“We repositioned that space to have a very large, open lobby where people can walk in see management, talk to leasing agents or concierge services… before [the office] was basically hidden behind a wall, now it’s wide open.”


Most apartments feature floor-to-ceiling windows and easy access to grocers like its anchor tenant Publix and the multiple retailers and restaurants that exist at the nearby Thornton Park neighborhood.


Over the span of eight months (starting in May 2017) the Massachusetts-based Northland Investment Corp. paid a total of $72.46 million acquiring residential units and commercial units at the tower, in order to take full control over the property.


Paramount on Lake Eola, was built in 2008 by an entity linked to apartment development and property management firm ZOM Living. But by 2010, the developer had failed to pay a construction mortgage of $110 million from Wells Fargo and the property went into foreclosure.


Court records show the developer owed a principal sum of $85.9 million, as well as additional interest costs, attorney fees, appraisal costs and $9.9 million in mezzanine loans.


Northland paid $57.4 million to acquire a majority of the units, which were already being held as rentals by the original lender/owner.
The firm would go on to pay more than $9.1 million for the commercial units, including the 38,858-square-foot Publix space, and more than $5.9 million for the remaining residential units.


Around the same time, Northland secured about $70.6 million in financing to help acquire the property from Prime Finance Partners.
Paramount on Lake Eola is Northland’s flagship investment in Orlando, Evangelinos said.


The company is a real estate private equity firm with $6 billion of assets under management. It owns more than 25,000 residential units across the nation, of which 9,200 are located in Florida.


Last year, Northland closed the year with over $1 billion in capital transactions and $500 million in total acquisitions across markets in Tucson, Albuquerque, Boynton Beach, Charleston and Charlotte. It oversees about 2.1 million square feet of commercial space and has about $3 billion in the development pipeline.


Evangelinos said the firm has grown its footprint in Central Florid over the last three years, and plans to continue to invest in the area.
“I don’t see a reason not to continue that trend,” he said.


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