Start to site work near on Phase 1 retail at Ocoee's former Colony Plaza property

Start to site work near on Phase 1 retail at Ocoee's former Colony Plaza property
Site plan for Boyd Development's first phase of multi-tenant retail buildings fronting S.R. 50 (right side of image - north) at the intersection with Maguire Boulevard in Ocoee, part of approximately 13 acres it now owns. (Klima Weeks)

Boyd Development anticipates breaking ground in the next three weeks on its first phase of retail for 12-plus acres at one of Ocoee's busiest intersections.

The local developer's affiliate Ocoee Corners LLC, formed as a joint venture last year with land owner Cypress Colony, Inc., paid $1.978 million to owners of the former Colony Plaza Hotel site for its 11.36 acres at the southwest corner of Colonial Drive and Maguire Road.


It also paid a separate $550,000 for a 1.015-acre parcel directly on the hard corner, buying it from another Boyd investment affiliate. The deeds were signed back on April 3, but only recorded on Monday in Orange County.

"We anticipate being ready to start construction in the next two to three weeks there with Hembree Construction," Boyd partner Ken Kupp told GrowthSpotter. "Everyone is excited about the fact that corner has been cleared and, effectively, put into play. Especially with (Colonial Drive) being finished and in six-lane condition, we've been pleased with the amount of retail interest in the site."

With 12.375 acres now in hand, a small-scale site plan approved by the city in late 2017 calls for Phase 1 of the project on 3.87 acres fronting Colonial Drive (S.R. 50), with two multi-tenant retail buildings of 7,912 square feet and 6,910 square feet.

Boyd had been planning since 2016 for that initial phase of frontage to include two stand-alone pads for an Orlando Health Urgent Care center and restaurant. Orlando Health is no longer part of the deal, said Kupp, but new dining and retail tenants for the buildings could be announced in the coming weeks.

Development of those first two buildings, site infrastructure, surface parking and a wet detention pond seemingly leave about one third of the property on its southern end for future development. The site still offers enough flexibility for other outparcel buildings, ground leases or a large anchor tenant building, Kupp said.

New right-in, right-out access off S.R. 50 would lead to a road that runs south along the property's western and southern edges, emptying out onto Maguire Road.

The buyer sourced a $6.95 million mortgage from Florida Community Bank to help finance the deal, with a maturity date in June 2020 that could be extended to June 2025.

The old Colony Plaza property has been inactive or vacant for 18 years since a former timeshare operation of the hotel failed in 2000.

The City of Ocoee and its Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) voted in January on a settlement agreement to resolve a decade-long legal battle over liens on the property, which were filed in 2009 and had ballooned since to $1.6 million.

Under the agreement, a Boyd JV entity paid the city more than $1.105 million to eliminate the lien. The developer then had to complete substantial construction work on the first retail phase by Dec. 31.

Future phases will be developed in the coming years. Boyd offered a conceptual plan back in January of more than 67,000 square feet of new retail, dining and a grocer or other large anchor for the southern end.

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