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Anatomy of a Deal: How Wallack pieced together Mango's Orlando & Skyplex

November 16, 2015


Written By: Bob Moser November 15,2015 9:00 PMarticle1

Joshua Wallack came from Miami Beach in June 2011 browsing for a two-story building on International Drive, drawn by an inkling that Orlando’s tourism corridor could support a second location of his family’s famed Mango’s Tropical Cafe restaurant and nightclub from South Beach.

He didn’t know he was starting a property acquisition marathon that would last three years and seven months, with eight land parcels sourced from eight different parties, 17.43 acres assembled overall and $69.35 million invested in real estate alone.

 Flash forward to today, and Wallack’s family and partners have more than $500 million in projected investment through 2018 in a Mango’s Orlando restaurant and nightclub set to open next month, and the proposed Skyplex entertainment complex with its Skyscraper “polercoaster,” billed as the world’s tallest rollercoaster at 501 feet.

A key part of those land sales involved Tony Cho, president and CEO of Metro 1 Properties in Miami. He represented the Wallacks as listing broker on the sale of their Power Studios property, a marathon affair that proved to be the longest listing in his company’s 10-year history. 

Roughly 45 days before Wallack’s mid-May deadline to complete a reverse 1031 exchange, Cho got a call from Lyle Chariff, head of Chariff Realty Group and a lead developer focused on revamping the Design District.

Chariff and his mortgage broker, Shawn Chemtov of CMG Capital, were accumulating parcels in the Design District around major redevelopment planned by Craig Robins of Dacra, and Power Studios was right in the middle of it.

Finally, a developer wanted Power Studios solely for the land beneath it.

Chariff and Chemtov offered $8 million for the parcel, would go hard with $1 million and wanted only 15 days’ due diligence, a saving grace for Wallack as his deadline neared.

“We knew they were speculating, but we also knew Shawn had the money to close so we were fine with it,” Cho said.

About 23 days before his 180-day window closed, The Wallacks sold Power Studios for $8 million in May 2013.

Click over to to read the full version of this story, the first of a two-part series on Wallack’s land acquisitions in Orlando:

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