As Orlando's population continues growing, the area is serving as a magnet for consumer service providers, like retailers, that see their own fortunes buoyed by the area's expansion.
What's going on between the southwest corner of East Colonial Drive and Avalon Boulevard in eastern Orlando is a good example of the infilling that's occurring in communities.
The once vacant 13-acre parcel is now pegged for $21 million worth of commercial development. Included is a WaWa that recently took up residence and a car wash that just opened next door.
Next up, Tires Plus Total Car Care is spending about $2.5 million on a 7,700-square-foot tire and automotive shop. Tires Plus is in the permitting process and hopes to begin building before the end of this year and open early next year.
"Florida is one of Tire Plus's heavier regions and they are adding to it," said Jenny Smith, project manager at CEI Engineering Associates, which is the engineer for the Tire Plus project. "They had been looking at this site for a couple of years, seeing the way the area has been expanding."
Next to Tires Plus an as-yet-unnamed restaurant is planned, and Smith estimates there is still room for a couple more occupants of the property.
The parcel, known as Colonial Sunflower, is owned by Ralph Singleton, Smith said. Efforts to reach Singleton were unsuccessful.
The development fits with Orange County's continued knack for attracting new residents.
Between 2013 and 2014, the most recently available data from the US Census Bureau shows Orange County's population grew by 27,000, to 1.253 million.
"As people relocate into an area the follow on spending takes place," said Sean Snaith, director of the University of Central Florida's Institute for Economic Competitiveness. "All of these companies look at the demographics and now see a market that fits their criteria."
The companies also provide jobs that help the area's economic growth continue.