Pinecrest Development Overcomes Hurdles

$225 million Orange Village mixed-use project enters initial phase

Despite numerous challenges, Walter | Haverfield client Fairmount Properties is now entering the first phase of development for its $225 million Pinecrest mixed-use real estate project in Orange Village. The vision for Pinecrest dates back to 2013 when Fairmount first started putting plans in place for the 58-acre project that will include 400,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, 90 new apartments and 150,000 square feet of office space linked to a 120-room hotel and parking garage. The first phase of construction involving the demolition of 31 homes in Orange Village began in August of this year.

Pinecrest is far from being an ordinary commercial real estate project. Fairmount (with the help of the Walter | Haverfield real estate legal team) had to negotiate with more than 30 individual property owners who, until recently, called the area of the Pinecrest project their home. These properties, each with its unique set of difficulties, needed to be demolished to make room for the new shopping/lifestyle project.

Complicating matters was the fact that Orange Village has placed a number of restrictions on the project, including a "no poaching" restriction that limits the developer's right to lease to certain retailers already doing business in the region. In addition, a 30-foot mound must be built to protect area homeowners from the noise and viewing restrictions created by Pinecrest.

Project financing was additionally complicated by the use of tax increment financing (better known as a TIF). In order to receive approval for the TIF, Fairmount had to negotiate with Orange Village and the local school district to cover the necessary funding for the project's infrastructure.

Walter | Haverfield has served as lead counsel on the project since 2013, overseeing all of the leasing and most of the financing and joint venture work, as well as closing on the option agreements with the numerous property owners. At one point during the process, as many as 19 properties were closing on the same date. Negotiations with prospective tenants are ongoing.

The grand opening for Pinecrest is projected for the spring of 2017.

Contact: Kevin Patrick Murphy