The property recently acquired for Sunbelt Lawn & Tractor, which is located at 4031 N. Forsyth Road.
The property recently acquired for Sunbelt Lawn & Tractor, which is located at 4031 N. Forsyth Road. (Google Street View)

Winter Park-based Sunbelt Lawn & Tractor should move by January to a 3.2-acre parcel on Forsyth Road it acquired this month for $1.275 million, with plans to put another $1.5 million into property renovations over the next three months, the company's owner told GrowthSpotter.

With more than 30 years serving the local outdoor equipment market as a John Deere dealership, parts supplier and repair shop, Sunbelt's growing business was being squeezed in recent years by the boundaries of a 1.25-acre parcel on Winter Park's University Boulevard.

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Owner Walt Thomas said he's thrilled the new 3.2-acre parcel at 4031 N. Forsyth Road lies on a five-lane road with no median to limit entry, and has two entrances to the property, both of which were missing from the long-time home at 6566 University Blvd.

The new property currently has two buildings on site, with the frontage featuring 14,000 square feet that is fully leased to five separate tenants.

The rear building, at 20,000 square feet, will be the new home of Sunbelt Lawn & Tractor, providing Thomas the space to bring his entire operation together under one roof for the first time in years, after having to rent warehouses in the past to house new staff and equipment.

Thomas' staff have begun gutting the larger building, with plans to maintain the shell but rebuild the interior. Architectural Resource Group, Inc., of Altamonte Springs is helping produce plans for building permit applications to submit to Orange County within the next month.

Thomas has yet to sign with a general contractor, but expects to do so soon. He's eyeing a construction start as soon as possible to meet a relocation goal of January.

Thomas financed the acquisition in part with a loan from Regions Bank, and was represented in the deal by Orlando-based brokerage McNulty Group.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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