A rendering of the new three-story building, seen here in the background from a viewpoint on Park Avenue, looking east on New England Avenue.
A rendering of the new three-story building, seen here in the background from a viewpoint on Park Avenue, looking east on New England Avenue. (ACi)

Local property developer and manager Battaglia Group is planning a new three-story Class A office and retail building less than a block off S. Park Avenue, on one of the last undeveloped parcels in Downtown Winter Park.

Located at 158 E. New England Ave., the 0.61-acre parcel is currently a city-managed surface parking lot, and lies east of the intersection with S. Park Avenue, behind the corner anchored by Peterbrooke Chocolatier.

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Battaglia Group, which owns the site, has produced designs for roughly 53,000 gross square feet planned in the building, and held informal meetings earlier this month with Winter Park planning staff.

"In the next month we'll make a formal application for conditional use approval, and start getting staff review and feedback on that," Daniel Butts, COO with Battaglia Group Management, told GrowthSpotter on Thursday. "Then ultimately we'll pursue our site plan and permit approvals."

Millenia Partners is marketing the project's retail space (17,275 square feet) on the ground floor. Butts envisions two restaurants, with at least one as a 6,000-square-foot anchor, and ancillary retail shops.

Colliers International is marketing the second and third level office space (32,744 SF total). The office space will be virtually free of columns, with a terrace on the second floor overlooking New England Avenue, according to marketing materials.

The building will have one level of integrated basement parking (about 55 spaces), and will form an agreement for additional parking in the private Bank of America garage directly across the street on New England Avenue.

Battaglia Group owns that Bank of America garage, which has "substantial" excess space available, Butts said. The company also owns a five-story garage directly behind it at 150 E. Welbourne Ave., and the six-story retail-office building on the corner at 250 S. Park Ave., home to restaurant Luma on Park.

Battaglia Group will be dedicating the land as its equity when it pursues financing, and will seek a traditional construction loan, with Butts estimating total project cost at $15 million.

"We're surveying the market through local contacts for our pre-development expenses, but once we get our approvals and substantial pre-leasing completed, we'll be going to market to look for more competitive terms," Butts said.

The developer is not interested in taking on private equity or JV partners at this time, he added.

The project's early architecture work was done by John Cunningham of ACi, who is now with Zyscovich Architects.

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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