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AMP Group, the Orlando-based owner/operator of 10 retail properties on North International Drive, has signed a Brazilian natural foods store and menswear retailer to fill Orlando Crossings East, and a local helitour operator to take over its dual helipad plan for the parking lot of Crossings West.

Located in the 5400 block of I-Drive, Orlando Crossings East has more than 62,500 square feet across two buildings. The center is anchored by an Adidas outlet and a new Banco do Brasil Americas outparcel built in 2015.

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Menswear retailer Destination XL has signed a lease for 5,765 square feet in Crossings East, withbuildout to start in the coming weeks and opening projected by Thanksgiving, said AlejandroPezzini, COO of AMP Group, from the sidelines of ICSC's Florida Conference & Deal Making on Monday.

Details on the latest proposal for a helicopter tour operator to set up space on N. International Drive.

The group also signed Fruitiss, a Brazilian producer of gourmet salads, fresh juices, frozen açaí and popsicles made from all-natural ingredients. Fruitiss will occupy a small remaining space at Crossings East, which will bring the center to full occupancy.

"We have a home in Orlando, were always visiting the Orlando Crossings shopping center and have an account at Banco do Brasil (Americas)," said Maria Helena Roza, co-owner of Fruitiss, from her office in Sao Paulo. "We saw a space open (at Orlando Crossings) early this year and pursued the opportunity. We really started focusing on the lease agreement around May. This will be our first store in the United States."

Directly south in the 5500 block of I-Drive is Orlando Crossings West, a 46,000-square-foot center where AMP invested $2.5 million to renovate last year. It's now fully leased, anchored by Seabra Foods supermarket and Ichiban Chinese-Japanese Buffet.

It's there that Orlando-based Air Force Fun Helicopter Tours has signed on to lease and operate a 2,400-square-foot, two-story building with two heliport pads that AMP affiliate OrlaCross LLC filed plans for last October with City of Orlando.

Plans for a dual helipad attraction for helicopter tours has been proposed for North International Drive, in the parking lot of the Orlando Crossings West shopping center.

Norberto Duarte and daughter Erika Duarte of Norbridge Properties, a local commercial development, sales and property management firm, own and operate Air Force Fun from a single helipad and ticket office on Regency Village Drive, just north of Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets.

They should maintain the Vineland location and expand their business at Orlando Crossings, Pezzini said. The Duartes were denied approval last year by Orange County Commissioners to build a second helipad and two-story building on their Vineland property.

The Orlando Crossings heliport has secured FAA approval, turned in construction plans to the city in early August, and will meet with Orlando building department staff again this week, Pezzini said.

Plans by a company to build a new office and dual helipad for growing its tour business is delayed after it informally held a meeting with area residents.

Construction of the dual helipad will be the responsibility of Air Force Fun, he added. The attraction is projected to open by Christmas.

Erika Duarte declined to comment Tuesday, due to city permitting for the heliport and operational details still being finalized.

This will be the first tourism-focused helipad operation in City of Orlando territory, as all other helitour operators are based further south in Orange County or Kissimmee.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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