Bidding opens on Destination Pkwy road work, marketing heats up for vacant land

Outlined in yellow is the 14-acre Waterside parcel being marketed by HFF for sale. The white dashed line indicates the path of the future Destination Parkway connection.
Outlined in yellow is the 14-acre Waterside parcel being marketed by HFF for sale. The white dashed line indicates the path of the future Destination Parkway connection. (HFF)

Bidding was opened Monday for contractors on the final mile extension of Destination Parkway, and HFF Orlando recently started to market a key 14-acre parcel along the route. Prospective buyers must offer on the land by Aug. 11, and the highly entitled property could prompt assemblage interest for two neighboring land owners.

As GrowthSpotter detailed on July 16, the extension of Destination Parkway from Universal Boulevard to Tradeshow Boulevard is now slated to start construction in November of this year and run through April 2018. The new four-lane road will be the last segment to connect International Drive to John Young Parkway.

Details on the "big elephant in the room" at Friday's final I-Drive Vision Plan meeting, and what undeveloped land lies along upcoming road projects.

Right along that portion of future parkway, three parcels totaling 76 acres of vacant commercial land (56 acres submerged) are owned by Redus Florida Land, an LLC affiliate of Wells Fargo Bank in Charlotte.

HFF was hired by Wells Fargo, and began privately marketing in mid-June a 14-acre parcel now dubbed "Waterside at Universal." Roughly half the property borders a lake, and entitlements include 1,200 hotel keys and 150,000 square feet of retail.

"It's an impeccable location within striking distance to the convention center, and walking distance to whatever Universal Orlando does in the future on its large land purchase," Michael Weinberg, managing director for HFF in Orlando, told GrowthSpotter on Tuesday.

Get your first look at the newly proposed subdistrict Universal Orlando is requesting in the I-Drive Development Code for its land on Universal Boulevard.

"We're going to call for offers on a formal bid date of Aug. 11," he continued. "Our client wants serious buyers that have the capital ready to execute on the site, and deliver."

Another 6-acre parcel owned by Redus directly south of the Destination Parkway path is not being marketed now, and will be sold by Wells Fargo at a later date, Weinberg said.

Two Stan Thomas affiliates own a combined 30 acres across four parcels that front the future road. Another 27 acres between two parcels are among those Universal Orlando affiliate SLRC Holdings acquired in December.

The largest land transaction in the history of Orlando's tourism market was registered in late December when Colony Capital drew $130 million for its 474-acre property near Universal Boulevard. The roots of that deal date back three and a half years, stretch as far as Los Angeles and New York, and wind back to CBRE Orlando's Land Services team.

A 1.8-acre parcel buried in between Redus' 14 acres and a 23-acre SLRC parcel is owned by Tax Deed Enterprises II LLC, a Sarasota-based investor.

Julia Sosa, principal with LandQwest Commercial's Orlando office, is marketing the isolated parcel. She acknowledged Tuesday the land is only of use to a buyer trying to assemble 15.8 or 39 contiguous acres there, but said it should now garner more attention with HFF pushing Redus' property.

Completion of Destination Parkway will give these properties direct access to the tourist corridor's two main thoroughfares in Universal Boulevard and International Drive, along with quick access to SR-528 and Interstate 4. Destination Parkway will also provide a straight shot to SouthPark Centre, a 2.9 million-square-foot office complex with some of Orlando's top corporate tenants.

Orange County's Procurement Division issued a bid invitation on Monday for work on the final segment of Destination Parkway (section 1B/2A), connecting Tradeshow Boulevard to the current dead-end west of Universal Boulevard.

The work consists of building a new four-lane divided urban roadway between the two points, and utilities improvements include building 1,800 lineal feet of 30-inch DIP reclaimed water main.

Submissions for Bid #Y16-7005-CH are due Aug. 16 at the Procurement Division office at 400 E. South St., 2nd floor. A non-mandatory pre-bid conference will be held July 26, 2:30 pm, at 4200 S. John Young Parkway.

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.