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A 70-acre parcel in Sanford that’s been owned by a Central Florida family for 80 years appears destined to become an industrial park.

Christopher Kelley is proposing that his family’s land, currently wooded area, be packaged for “upscale” industrial uses.

Kelley’s potential industrial park would be in west Sanford along Narcissus Avenue and front Rand Yard Road.

During a meeting with Sanford planners on Tuesday, Kelley produced a drawing of how the park might be laid out. The conceptual plan was named North Port Industrial, and was produced by civil engineering firm American Civil Engineering Co.

Kelley said construction would be phased in, and declined to forecast an investment budget for the project.

The move could avoid a “zombie subdivision,” where roads and utilities lead nowhere. In phase one, “We are trying to keep costs low,” Kelley said. This could mean smaller units at first.

The meeting of Kelley’s team with Sanford planners was their first formal step to move forward on the project, which would involve annexing six of 13 parcels out of Seminole County and into Sanford. The other parcels are already in Sanford.

One of the six Seminole County parcels — 0.69 acres — is owned by the county itself. Kelley said a conversation held with a county commissioner had been encouraging, in regard to potentially including the plot of land in the annexation.

The project would also involve taking what is mostly agriculturally zoned land and rezoning as Planned Development.

The approach would be akin to the way industrial park Sanford Central Park operates, according to Kelley’s with Sanford planners.

Sanford Central Park is described as a “premium industrial” facility in marketing materials. The park is located north of Upsala Road, close to S.R. 417 and a few minutes from I-4 and the Seminole Towne Center, its literature says.

Kelley may be getting into the industrial park business at the right time.

“Sanford had been a tough market with a lot of vacancies,” because of greater distances to major arteries than other Orlando areas, said Robbie McEwan, senior associate with the national office and industrial properties group at Marcus & Millichap.

“But we are seeing that change,” McEwan said. “And I can see with an improvement in the market someone would look into it.”

For one thing, a lot of small businesses “are calling it their home,” setting up shop at these sites where they can get cheaper rental rates than other Central Florida submarkets, McEwan said.

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