Local drywall specialist contractor buys Winter Garden warehouse to expand

Winter Garden-based drywall contractor United Wall Systems paid $795,000 in recent weeks to triple its current operating space, betting on the continued growth of Greater Orlando's commercial construction demand. 

Located at 401 E. Smith St. in Winter Garden, the 0.7-acre parcel includes a flex-warehouse with 9,150 square feet of conditioned area, dating to 1973. 

"We're growing and simply out of room. I'm a real estate investor on the side so it made sense to pick up a building that could help us grow," president Curtis Yoder told GrowthSpotter. "The building is a bit dated and dirty, and was (formerly) a mechanics shop. We'll put a new roof on it, re-skin it, put up new signage and re-do the parking lot." 

The sale closed Feb. 28, and was recorded Wednesday in Orange County.

Yoder anticipates investing another $300,000 or more into thoroughly renovating and updating the property, to include interior tenant finish for offices and new training space. He has yet to hire a civil engineer or architect, and should pursue candidates in the coming weeks.

"There's about 1,000 square feet of offices in there that are clean and updated, so we'll move in there and focus on building out the rest to bring it up to (standard)," Yoder said. "It will be phased, but we need the room now we're growing so much." 

United Wall Systems was founded in 2008 by Yoder, and now provides commercial drywall and stucco services, steel framing, doors and hardware packages.

The contractor has grown in the years since to more than 70 direct employees and relocated twice, currently in a leased flex-office suite of roughly 3,000 square feet at 1165 E. Plant St. 

The company cites past design-build work with 4 Rivers Smokehouse and First United Methodist Church in downtown Orlando, along with renovations with Florida Hospital and multiple area hotels.  

"Expansion will allow me to almost triple my staff," Yoder said. "We won't go that far, but it will let me hire as many as I need. We do plan on hiring another four immediately, and within this year six to eight total as mid-level management." 

The buyer sourced a $636,000 mortgage from IberiaBank to help finance the deal. 

The seller was 401 E Smith Street, LLC, an affiliate of investor John O'Bierman, which previously paid $538,500 for the property in 2006. Chuck McNulty of McNulty Group, Inc. represented the seller. 

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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