Lucky's will take a 29,970-square-foot anchor space in the planned 59,787-square-foot retail center, vice president of marketing Ben Friedland told GrowthSpotter.
"We're excited to be moving into that location, and we're very hopeful there will be more Orlando-area stores to come," he said. "We are actively scouting in Orlando and have several deals we're working on, but those are a little early to announce now. Orlando continues to be a very attractive market for us."
It will be the second specialty grocer to join a new development in the SoDo District in the past year, following Earth Fare's commitment in 2016 as the 23,900-square-foot anchor tenant of the Crescent Lucerne project on Gore Street.
Based on the southeast corner of S. Orange and E. Pineloch avenues, the intersection boasts an Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) count of 36,453, as of the most recent figures from Orange County and the Florida Department of Transportation.
The location will be Lucky's second in Orlando following its June 2016 opening at 11750 E. Colonial Dr., south of UCF, and its 12th store in Florida. Construction and opening of the store is projected for some point in 2018, Friedland said.
"It doesn't surprise me they landed a Lucky's Market, I think that's a great spot for the company, and if you look at the residential base around there in all directions it is strong demographics," said David Gabbai, managing director of retail services with Colliers International in Orlando, who is not involved in the deal.
"It's a natural fit for Lucky's with all the medical employment in that area, and the more sophisticated demographics that come with that who will be more in tune with eating healthy," he continued. "It also heads off traffic to the Publix (directly north). With Lucky's you've created strong demand for the outparcels at this project."
Lucky's Market announced earlier this year it plans to open at least six new stores in Florida over the next 18 months, but did not name a second Orlando location among six cities elsewhere in the state.
Intram and Blurock earned city approval earlier this year on a Specific Parcel Master Plan (SPMP) for the first phase, which includes the apartments and all infrastructure for the retail segment.
Those include the large anchor space, a retail strip with close to 9,000 square feet divided amongst five inline spaces, a stand-alone la Madeleine French Bakery & Cafe of 4,200 square feet, a stand-alone Starbucks of 2,500 square feet on the hard corner, another retail strip with more than 13,200 square feet for three inline tenants, and a 623-square-foot Twistee Treat introduced in the Phase 1 SPMP.
Demolition of small existing buildings on the property is underway, and LeCesse is expected to have construction permits in July to break ground on the apartments.
Approval of the Phase 2 SPMP by the city would allow Intram and Blurock to get their construction permit for horizontal site work and infrastructure, which would begin in step with the apartment construction in July or later.