Dr. Phillips Charities is in the initial stage of a potential sweeping, long-term redevelopment of 84 acres it owns around the intersection of W. Princeton Street and N. Orange Blossom Trail, an industrial subdistrict that's the western gateway to College Park, the non-profit's president confirmed for GrowthSpotter.
The charity filed demolition permit applications with the city of Orlando on Oct. 20 to clear two warehouse properties it owns at 1625 W. Princeton St. and 2255 N. Orange Blossom Trail, which front Princeton and lie directly west of the train tracks.
Those parcels total 8.5 acres, with about 164,000 square feet of industrial space between them in buildings that date back to 1912. They are two of nearly 30 semi-contiguous parcels around the intersection that are owned by the non-profit, and total roughly 84 acres.
"We're in a very early stage of looking for planning firms. We don't have any pre-determined plans for the property other than to demo, and determining the highest and best use," said Kenneth D. Robinson, president of Dr. Phillips Charities, which oversees affiliate Dr. Phillips, Inc., owner of the properties. "You won't find a critical mass of land anywhere in the downtown metropolitan area like this, and it fronts an entry point to College Park."
Permits have yet to be granted, but Robinson projects those to come through, and for demo work to begin in December. Dr. Phillips Charities has hired Orlando-based demolition company PECE of Mind.
Most of the industrial buildings owned by Dr. Phillips, Inc., that lie west of the target demo properties still have tenants with long-term leases, Robinson said. There are no immediate plans to cut those leases short, he added.
The property at 1625 W. Princeton St., which includes 88,978 square feet across two buildings, has been vacant for more than a year, but was the previous home of Amazon Hose & Rubber Co. for 40 years, among other industrial tenants. A third building on the parcel was demolished in 2013.
Business expansion, and dated electrical systems in the old buildings, prompted Amazon Hose to relocate in April 2014 to its own new facility on Seaboard Road. George Malgoza, senior vice president of finance and operations, said the site is ready for reinvention.
"It now seems like an obvious choice to demo that corner and try something new there, like retail or more wholesale," he said. "It's an ideal entry and exit point for College Park, and if you follow Princeton (Street) west, you'll see there's not much retail in that area for locals other than Walmart (at John Young Parkway)."