UPDATED: JANUARY 22, 2018 3:00 PM — A Jacksonville-based pet boarding "resort" and grooming business is planning its third Orlando-area location in Ocoee, with more than 3 acres recently bought and a groundbreaking anticipated by April.
To be located at 1175 Tomyn Blvd., the 3.35-acre project site lies along S.R. 429, just north of the George Bailey Community Park and Lake Whitney Elementary School.
Pet Paradise Resort, not to be confused with the similarly named Pet Paradise Animal Hospital & Resort in Apopka, has 14 locations across Florida, including ones in Sanford and near the Orlando International Airport.
With the design of its newest locations, the company is trying to stake its claim as the comprehensive resort for dogs and cats. On top of standard boarding and grooming services, new "pet wellness" features are the focus in Ocoee.
The business will have a large outdoor play area for its growing "day camp" clients, featuring ample shade structures and trees, covered porches and misting stations, a dog bone-shaped pool, and splash pad area for small dogs. Doggy ice cream is doled out regularly, and indoor VIP rooms boast plush beds and a webcam for owners to view their pets remotely.
"We're trying to strategically cluster our resorts around the Greater Orlando market, and west Orlando in Ocoee is an area we think the demographics are right, with growth along the S.R. 429 corridor and proximity to a lot of rooftops," vice president of real estate Brian Martin told GrowthSpotter. "We think there are more opportunities in (metro Orlando), with as big as it is and as fast as it's growing."
The Ocoee location will be the company's second with its new design, following a prototype building now under construction in Jacksonville.
The design is characterized as modern farmhouse style, with primarily block buildings, a combination of board and batten and stucco finishes, and fairly steep roof pitches to give it more of a residential look.
The owner filed plans last week with the St. Johns River Water Management District to build the pet resort, with associated parking and a retention pond.
A Development Plan has been approved by the city, and construction plans are now under final review. Franco anticipates site work to start in late March or early April.
Total project cost is estimated near $5 million, said Franco, who noted that financing has been secured but declined to cite the source.
An investment affiliate paid more than $1.18 million in late December for the subdivided tract, Franco said. The deed was only recorded on Jan. 22 in Orange County.
Looking forward, the company may pursue more real estate in Greater Orlando to augment its coverage area, Franco said. Following its three area locations, a need will exist in southwest Orange County, as well as infill locations where population growth may be strong.
"The demographics will have to be right," he said. "In Florida we're typically seeking 1.7 to 2 acres, depending on retention pond needs. And the more utilities and infrastructure that are in place, the better."
A separate northern parcel, owned by land seller Simmons Pet Properties LLC, is projected for retail or office development of up to 16,200 square feet, per the property's development agreement.