Upshot Capital has big plans for 28-acre site on E192 tech corridor

An Orlando real estate investment group is expected to close on the purchase of a 28-acre vacant commercial site on Kissimmee's E192 tech corridor in late June, and plans more than $55 million in mixed-use construction.

Upshot Capital Advisors CEO Raul Socarras told GrowthSpotter he envisions a mix of dining and retail uses with a 120-key select service hotel, self-storage facility and 300-unit apartment complex.

The Amber Pointe site is located at the intersection of U.S. 192 and Partin Settlement Road, next to the Osceola County Government Center and across from a Publix-anchored shopping center that was built in 2012. It's the eastern-most parcel in the county's E192 CRA district, and is subject to design guidelines adopted last year.

Socarras said the fund's investors were drawn to the site because of its proximity to NeoCity, Osceola County's new high-tech research park that is home to the Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center. The county's projected population growth was another key factor.

"The population growth in Osceola is going to be staggering," he said. "We see this area between Kissimmee and St. Cloud as being very impactful, and we want to get out ahead of the growth."

Upshot has retained Harris Civil Engineers to assist with site planning, and expects to begin the permitting process in Osceola County some time after the June 21 closing.

"We think we can comply with the design guidelines and make the project work," Socarras said. 

The initial plan calls for retail pads to front on E192 with the multifamily to be developed at the rear of the property, potentially in two phases.

"We've got a couple of restaurant pads, a bank site and a potential fuel station site," Socarras said. "We're talking to third parties right now for the self-storage, because that's something we haven't ever done. But we know there's a lot of demand for self-storage in that area."

Upshot is also looking for development partners on the residential element. "We're very prepared to work together with a multifamily developer either on a joint venture or to sell it outright," Socarras said. "If we do the multifamily ourselves, it will be in two phases, with a $20 million investment in each phase."

The site is adjacent to Academy Village Apartments, which is being expanded with 420 new luxury units on the site of a former blighted hotel

Upshot isn't the first developer to place the Amber Pointe property under contract. A previous ownership group led by Daryl Carter had a contract and approved site plan to build a SuperTarget there in 2006.

Carter sold the property to Miami-based Adler Group for $7.8 million, but the Target got shelved during the recession. The lender, Space Coast Credit Union, acquired the property in 2013 through Quit Claim in lieu of foreclosure.

In 2015, shopping center developer Michael Collard Properties pitched a 164,000-square-foot retail center concept anchored by a big box hobby store and an 8-screen movie theater. Collard submitted alternate site plan concepts last year, including one with a 320-unit apartment complex and four retail outparcels. But he ended up walking away from the project. 

Last December, Upshot paid $4 million to acquire a vacant Downtown Orlando office building with plans to redevelop the site in 5-10 years. 

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407)420-6261, or tweet me at @LKinslerOGrowth. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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