Prakas & Co, a boutique commercial real estate brokerage led by A. Tom Prakas out of Boca Raton, announces an exciting expansion into the Orlando market.
At the helm will be new Operating Partner for Central and North Florida, James Layson. With over 25 years experience in hospitality investments, Layson has already been tapped to repurpose iconic Church Street Station as a vibrant restaurant and entertainment district.
Layson says, “we are focusing our efforts on bringing unique concepts new to the area, such as our recent lease execution of rising culinary star, Chef Jason Schofield’s new craft and artisan concept: Maddey’s Craft and Cru. We are also close to finalizing a lease that is sure to bring notoriety to Church Street Station. Interest is at an all- time high since its glory days as one of the leading entertainment districts in the country.”
Ranked 4th among the largest US metro areas and 1st in projected population growth, Orlando is the hub of central Florida’s finance and commerce industries and home to an ever-growing technology presence. That means more opportunities for a firm like Prakas & Co and potential investors.
“The Orlando real estate market is about to explode, similar to what Atlanta has experienced over the last five years,” says Layson.
Prakas & Co plans to bring to Orlando the unique industry understanding that they’ve already pioneered in the South Florida market. The team there has sold or leased more than 450 restaurants and commercial properties in the past 15 years. Most notably, they were behind the entrance of Danny Devito and Dwayne Wade into the Florida restaurant scene.
Along with becoming the exclusive brokers for Crocker Partners Boca Center and other major properties, the firm has recently closed on some of the largest restaurant deals in South Florida.
The first was the 15,000 SF lease of the space housing former Miami Beach landmark China Grill, owned by Jules Trump and Partners, to Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, owners of Chops Lobster Bar. Secondly, the team handled Falcone Group’s sale of the Paramount Oceanfront restaurant site in Fort Lauderdale to LM Restaurant Group. And just last month, Prakas helped NYSE-listed hospitality company, Ark Restaurant Group acquire Shucker’s Island Beach oceanfront restaurant.
Prakas says, “We are excited to open in a thriving market like Orlando, with all of its hospitality venues, our specialty. It’s the world’s largest vacation destination, with over 59 million visitors a year. Having Jim on our team as our Central Florida partner is a big plus.”
Layson’s career has focused on entertainment districts in thriving urban markets across the US. Prakas & Co will be expanding on his experience as an industry leader in the Entertainment and Hospitality arena.
If you’re a signature operator looking for your next opportunity, visit prakascompany.com