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Orlando-based restaurant chain Gator’s Dockside paid $2.3 million on Jan. 27 for a 3.8-acre parcel on Narcoossee Road south of S.R. 417, where the company plans its 26th restaurant and an additional 33,000 square feet of future mixed-use development, company co-founder John Foerst told GrowthSpotter on Monday.

“We just closed on the property (last week), and will submit our site plan to Orange County’s Development Review Committee within the next 10 days,” Foerst said. “We’ll go through the DRC and Orange County for permitting this year, with groundbreaking possible in the fourth quarter.”

Located just south of Kirby Smith Road and currently zoned Vacant Commercial, the property is 165,500 gross square feet. Of that, initial development plans involve a potential 40,000 square feet of mixed-use, Foerst said, with a 7,000-square-foot outparcel dedicated for Gator’s Dockside, and the remaining destined for future retail and medical.

“We bought the property for future development and as an investment,” he said. “We may decide to lease or leave it for the future, we haven’t made that decision yet. It’s all predicated on our site plan approval.”

Orlando’s LAM Civil Engineering is working with Gator’s Dockside on its site plan application. Foerst said an architecture firm has yet to be chosen.

This is the second new development in the past month for retail and office along Narcoossee Road near Lake Whippoorwill.

Irvine, Calif.-based Pacific Dental Services is proposing its own commercial office center less than a mile south of the Gator’s Dockside land parcel, with potential purchase of three acres for a development with its own dental office and other medical space.

The City of Orlando began taking steps in mid-2015 to control future development in the Lake Whippoorwill area. The targeted zone is the six lane stretch from south of S.R. 417 to the Osceola County line, with the city acting in cooperation with Orange County.

City planners, working with the county and local property owners, have proposed a subarea policy that outlines low density development on the west side of Lake Whippoorwill, which is on the east side of Narcoossee Road, running 1.3 miles from Tysons Road to Kirby Smith Road. The Gator’s Dockside property lies within this window.

Editor’s Note: The first paragraph was corrected to reflect that Gator’s Dockside is an Orlando-based company.

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