Plans for Walgreens to lease the full 6,300-square-foot ground floor of the historic downtown First National Bank building will feature a classic blade sign on the corner that honors the bank's original signage, the company's local architect told GrowthSpotter on Tuesday.
Located at 190 S. Orange Ave. on the northwest corner of Orange and Church Street, the four-story building has been marketed for creative retail options on the ground floor ever since it was acquired in July 2014 by Nunziata Holdings for $4.75 million. The firm is owned by brothers Joe and Rob Nunziata, co-CEOs of FBC Mortgage, which is now the building's main tenant.
FBC will retain the building's second and third floors, and is currently in talks with a few potential tenants to lease the fourth floor, Joe Nunziata told GrowthSpotter Tuesday.
"We are in the final stages of finalizing the (Walgreens) lease, and we as the landlord will actually be selecting and hiring the GC to do the build out," he said. "We have it narrowed down to two at this point."
Wes Featherston, owner of Process Architecture, has been working with the Nunziatas on interior redesign of floors 2-4 and FBC's office there, but was also hired by Walgreens to lead interior and exterior design for a ground-floor store.
Minimal, discreet branding with the Walgreens logo has been proposed for the building's front along Orange Avenue. An elevated blade sign on the building corner has been proposed at 16 feet off the ground. Estimated at 35 feet tall, the sign could reach 51 feet in height (the building itself stands 57 feet tall).
"We sought to reference the original bank sign's shape, as following historic precedent is helpful to gaining approval from Orlando's Historic Preservation Board," Featherston said. "But this also offers a unique branding opportunity for Walgreens as the first pharmacy to return downtown."
The building was built in 1929 by First National Bank and Trust Company and occupied by the bank up until the 1960s, when a Stroud's family drug store occupied the ground floor and elevated blade signage on the building's corner. Valencia Community College occupied the building from 1981 to 2014.
The building features a classically inspired Art Deco design with Egyptian motifs and was designed by architect Howard M. Reynolds. The property was landmarked in 1977, and was one of the first buildings included in Orlando's Downtown Historic District.
The proposed blade sign features Walgreens' logo on top, a diagonal red ribbon with the company name in script across the pole, and space on the lower half for logos of additional building tenants.
The downtown Orlando building redesign has taken cues from Walgreens' 2012 renovation of the historic Noel State Bank in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood into a flagship store.
"The way Walgreens handled that (Chicago) property design has been influential in the creation of this design for Orlando," Featherston said.
Interior build out of the building's ground floor is projected to begin in late Spring 2016.