In February, Kimco Realty Corporation submitted plans to tear down several big box stores at the shopping center it owns on Colonial Drive in Orlando to make room for apartment units.
While continuing to move toward that goal, the company has now pitched a similar concept for another one of its Orange County shopping plazas: the Marketplace at Dr. Phillips, which is anchored by a Publix grocery store.
Kimco Realty, one of the nation’s largest owner-operators of grocery-anchored shopping centers, filed an application with Orange County Thursday in order to go over its preliminary plans for the property with county staff.
The site plan features seven options. All involve the demolition of the SteinMart, located beside Publix on the northern end of the plaza. Two of the options consist of razing both the SteinMart and a conjoined Office Depot and HomeGoods building on the southern edge of the shopping center.
Tearing down SteinMart, Office Depot and HomeGoods would give Kimco space to build three apartment buildings — one of eight-stories tall, two of five-stories — with as many as 879 units or as few as 841 units, according to site plans.
The other options that keep the Office Depot and Home Goods intact would allow Kimco to build two buildings of eight or five stories for as many as 760 units or as few as 418 units, according to site plans.
Parking would also be added alongside each of the new apartment buildings, as few as 654 spaces to as many as 1,326 spaces for the three-building options.
Architecture and planning firm BCT Design, which has offices in Baltimore, Maryland and Tampa, drafted the preliminary site plans for the project.
Publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange since 1991, Kimco has specialized in shopping center ownership, management, acquisitions, and value enhancing redevelopment activities for more than 60 years, according to its website.
As of March 31, 2022, the company owned interests in 537 U.S. shopping centers and mixed-use assets comprising 93 million square feet of gross leasable space, its website says.
A company affiliated with Kimco purchased the Marketplace at Dr. Phillips, located at 7682 Dr. Phillips Blvd, for $4.4 million in 2006. It’s currently zoned for non-residential C-1, a retail commercial district, but it’s located in the heart of an affluent residential area, with subdivisions on each side.
Kimco has been working to mix in housing to many of its shopping centers across the country in recent years. In 2020, Kimco sought approval from the city of Baltimore to add apartments to five separate shopping plazas there. All of those requests were pending at the same time, the Baltimore Sun reported.
Another example: After the company bought a 40-year-old, 526,000 square foot mall in Washington in 2013, Kimco moved in 2018 to redevelop it with up to 685 apartments, a 150-room hotel and two office buildings totaling 175,000 square feet. Today, it’s called the Marketplace at Factoria.
Locally, Kimco is also looking to add apartments to Orlando’s Colonial Plaza, a large shopping center located at 601 N Bumby Ave that includes a host of national retailers such as Total Wine & More, Conn’s Home Plus, Marshall’s, Sprouts Farmers Market and more.
That plan to add an apartment tower with between 250 and 350 units to the mix would result in the demolition of the Barnes & Noble, PetCo and the Goodyear tire store. Foot Locker and Five Below could also be impacted.
Peter Flint, Kimco’s vice president of development who’s listed as the site owner in the application submitted to the county, declined to comment for this story.
In February, he told GrowthSpotter that mixed-use elements add a built-in customer base to support the existing retail components.
“Furthermore, this market has a lack of quality rental units and a limited supply of mixed-use developments which are the future retail and residential as they create the convenient and dynamic, 24-7 live/work/play environment that consumers are seeking,” he said at the time.
It’s part of a growing trend: At a time when there’s such a high demand for housing, mall owners are trying to inject new life into tired shopping centers by converting them into mixed-use communities.
Bancorp, owner of Orlando Fashion Square, unveiled plans last year for a multi-phased redevelopment that would add 1,400 residential units, a hotel plus another 177,000 square feet of new retail uses.
Orlando’s City Council approved a new master framework plan for Fashion Square in December. New Jersey-based M & M Realty, a joint-venture between Edgewood Properties founder Jack Morris and JMP Holdings President Joe Marino, would lead the project.