As Flea World prepares to close on Aug. 31, its owner and his advisers are busy handling calls from developers and others that want to build on the soon-to be vacant 118-acre Sanford property that is being sold for $26 million.
At the same time they are preparing to close down the 35-year-old landmark. That means over 50 acres of stalls, booths and parking area will be removed.
Flea World owner and area philanthropist Syd Levy said it will cost $1.3 million to clear the site. Levy also owns the adjacent 68 acres, with the total 118 acres to encompass a development at the intersection of Ronald Reagan Boulevard and US 17-92 that will be called Reagan Center.
The buildings and iron doors on the property will be sold to offset some of the demolition cost, Levy said. The concrete under the parking lot will be broken up and the pavement melted down, also to be sold.
The clearing will take a couple of months.
"We're getting calls from everyone [in the meantime]," said Paul Partyka of NAI/Realvest, who is brokering the land.
Partyka estimates $300 million of construction will take place between the project's start and completion several years from now.
Those interested in the property include hotels, multifamily developers, retailers and a charter school, he said.
The plan is for the site to contain 236,000-square-feet of retail, 827 apartments, 216,000-square-feet of office space and 66 townhomes.
No one has closed on their part of the project so far, as construction permits are awaited. The townhouses are to be the first project to kick-off the development, in the first quarter.