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Pino decides against stake in new building




ORLANDO -- Dynetech Corp. has backed out of its plans for equity ownership in Dynetech Centre, the company's planned $80 million headquarters building in downtown.

Instead, Laurence J. Pino, chairman and CEO of Dynetech, says he's signed a 20-year lease to occupy 63,000 square feet in the 32-story building and will put his company's extra cash toward mergers and acquisitions.

In explaining his decision, Pino told Orlando Business Journal the new building, which has jumped $30 million in price during the three-plus years of planning, is designed to feature 17 floors of apartments and "that is simply not our business."

Scott Stahley, senior vice president of Lincoln Property Co., Dynetech's commercial development partner on the project, says Dynetech's decision to withdraw from being a partial owner doesn't change his company's plans, including a groundbreaking scheduled for next month.

"It was always a Lincoln project and geared to be," Stahley says.

Five stories more

For more than three years, Dynetech sought to expand its corporate space to bring an additional 275 jobs to downtown Orlando and boost its work force to 600 people by mid-2006.

Initially, the business process outsourcing company partnered with Lincoln to build the new mixed-use, high-rise building at the northeast corner of Magnolia Avenue and Washington Street in the heart of downtown.

The structure, which started off as 27 stories and now stands at 32 floors, will feature retail on the ground level, an eight-level parking garage, seven floors of office space and 17 floors of rental units. Dubbed Dynetech Centre, the building will be constructed on a .67-acre site purchased from the city for $2.2 million.

From the outset, Dynetech held the option to exercise equity ownership ranging from as little as zero participation to a 51 percent stake.

Trolling for acquisitions

But since its inception, Dynetech Centre kept getting bigger.

In May, Pino added three stories to the mixed-use development, expressed a desire to have a coffee shop as part of the first-floor retail space and added 35 more apartment units than originally planned to address the apartment shortage created by condo conversions downtown.

The city approved the project, which now has an $80 million price tag -- $30 million more than its initial estimate.

As a result, Dynetech reconsidered its ownership option, Pino says.

Still, he says, the project will serve as a cornerstone for downtown Orlando. Dynetech also retains "a multimillion-dollar stake in the property," he adds. "Our financial stake is no different today than it was in the very beginning."

By turning down its equity position, Pino says Dynetech now can put its cash toward aggressive mergers and acquisitions. "We currently have very significant, multimillion-dollar letters of intent out for acquisitions."

In 2004, Dynetech generated about $135 million in revenue -- an 18.5 percent increase over the prior year -- ranking it 21st among OBJ's Golden 100 privately held companies.

18-month completion

Lincoln plans to break ground on the project in early February. It will take 18 months to complete the project.

Plans call for leasing out the remaining office space once Dynetech completes its design changes. The apartments will be ready for tenants in about a year, and the retail will be leased when the building is complete, Stahley says.

As part of the retail mix, the city would like to see a fine-dining restaurant, Stahley says. "We'll see if the market will bear that," he says.

Dynetech officials hope to occupy the building on Sept. 1, 2007.

Lincoln will build the project in phases, Stahley says. "We are looking to start as quickly as we can get our approvals." (From Orlando BizJournal)

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