A. Duda & Sons, long-time Seminole County firm, looks to redevelop company HQ land

GrowthSpotter contributor

One of the oldest companies in Central Florida plans to convert land where its corporate headquarters currently stands in Oviedo into a mixed use development.

A. Duda & Sons, Inc. wants to redevelop a 42-acre parcel on the west side of SR 426 at Duda Trail. The property is located less than a quarter mile south of West Mitchell Hammock Road. The project is called Andrew's Crossing. 

Plans submitted to Oviedo city planners and approved by the Oviedo City Council on Oct. 3 show the company would set aside about 25 acres for conservation, open space and retention ponds. The remaining land will be developed into 106,635 square feet of commercial space fronting SR 426, 182,221 square feet of office space and 70 townhomes.

George Viele of Viele and Associates represented Duda during the Oviedo public hearings, and told council members some of the office space may be developed as a hotel. 

"We think there's a need in the community," said Viele. "That's the way we're marketing it." 

However, he cautioned it was too soon to know if market analysis would support a hotel in that area. 

Duda has a development subsidiary, The Viera Co., but it is not known whether Duda will develop the property or sell it to another developer.

Also unknown is whether the company will relocate its headquarters to another site, or within the proposed offices development. Viele referred questions to Duda's Erin Archey, who did not respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.

Notes on the engineering plans indicate the development will occur in four phases. Phase 1 would include all infrastructure work and the construction of a private road. 

Phase 2 might include hotel construction, if one is secured, or office construction. Phase 3 could include the commercial construction, while Phase 4 would see the remaining office space built, along with the townhomes. The project could be complete by 2023, however market conditions may change the timeline and phasing. 

Duda is a privately held company controlled by the Duda family, which traces its Central Florida roots back to 1909 when family patriarch Andrew Duda moved to the United States from Slovakia. That year he founded the Slavia community where the western limits of Oviedo now are. By 1926, Duda and his three sons were beginning to find success in celery farming.

The family built on its agriculture and cattle success throughout the 20th century. In the 1980s, Duda began developing real estate with Viera, a 14,500-acre, master-planned development near Melbourne in Brevard County.

SK Consortium Inc. of Maitland is the civil engineer on Andrew's Crossing.

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