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New office building and parking garage planned in Packing District

Just weeks after naming the executive chef in charge of curating the Packing District food hall, the developer is advancing plans for the district’s first new office building and commercial parking garage that will open at the same time.

Dr. Phillips Charities has filed a master plan with the City of Orlando for the first phase of development in the southeast quadrant of the 212-acre mixed-use district. The plan calls for a four-story, 43,000-square-foot office building and a parking garage that can accommodate 305 vehicles. CEO Ken Robinson told GrowthSpotter the company is already in discussions with potential tenants.

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“Each floor will have approximately 10,000 square feet, and one thing we can announce is that we’re going to dedicate one entire floor to nonprofits,” Robinson said, noting that the rents for those tenants will be less than market rate. “We want it to be an incubator space.”

Hunton Brady Architects designed the building, which will be immediately north of the food hall complex and will be visible from Orange Blossom Trail. The building mixes traditional red brick and metal on three sides, a nod to the area’s industrial past, with a wall of glass that will face the courtyard and future hotel to the north. The wall will feature electrochromic glass, which can lighten or darken based on the seasonal position of the sun, time of day or weather conditions.

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“You almost create an art feature within the glass itself,” Robinson said. “It will have different impacts based on whether its daytime or nighttime, or it can be backlit.”

A monument tower on the northwest corner of the building will be a perfect canvas to display the naming rights of the anchor tenant, Robinson added.

Dr. Phillips Charities announced on April 1 that New York-based chef Akhtar Nawab and his Hospitality HQ group would operate the 11-vendor, 17,300-square-foot hall. The project is an adaptive reuse of the 1930s-era Great Southern Box Company building at 2105 N. Orange Blossom Trail. Work is expected to start in August.

The parking garage, designed by Finfrock, will be located in the northeast corner of the property adjacent to the train tracks, where it can serve as a sound and visual buffer for the office building and future hotel planned at the intersection of Orange Blossom Trail and Princeton Street.

“We feel like aesthetically, it works very well there,” Robinson said.

Dr. Phillips will not be involved in the construction or operation of the hotel. The developer is in discussions with hotel companies and will likely sell that parcel or do a ground lease, Robinson said. The southeast quadrant also will have a 4,000-square-foot restaurant and bar and a 3,600-square-foot micro-brewery.

Initially, the developer had sought a temporary permit from the city to build gravel parking lots for the food hall. But the pandemic delayed that project by almost two years, putting it on roughly the same construction schedule as the office building. “The timing of the office building coming online at the same time as the food hall dictated that we go ahead and build the parking structure,” Robinson said, noting that all three would likely open in September or October of 2023.

Vertical construction on a new 27,512-square-foot Publix will begin this summer on the site of the original Dr. Phillips packing house at the northeast corner of Princeton and Orange Blossom Trail. And in the southwest quadrant, several buildings have been razed to make way for the first of three new apartment communities in the district.

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Texas-based Embrey Partners will add 350-units as the second phase of its Cannery multifamily community. Just south of that Third Wave Development will build the 293-unit “Northside Yards” community. Both projects will consist of five-story urban midrise apartments will structured parking. The owners of Princeton Commerce center have also filed plans for new residential mixed-use buildings on their 10-acre site with entitlements for up to 600 dwelling units and 20,000 square feet of office and retail uses.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-6261, or tweet me at @byLauraKinsler. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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