UPDATED: JULY 17, 2017 11:30 AM — Tavistock Development Company is putting plans into action at its undeveloped 200-acre Infinity Park property along S. John Young Parkway, signing a built-to-suit lease with Orange Lake Resorts to create a new corporate campus that will house some 2,100 employees in two office buildings totaling 240,000 square feet.
The developer will also pursue site and infrastructure work proactively on up to 20 more acres for two future office building sites that would total 260,000 square feet, positioning those for built-to-suit or speculative development down the line, senior vice president Skipper Peek told GrowthSpotter on Monday morning.
Orange Lake Resorts will expand its current presence at Infinity Park from an existing 115,000-square-foot building that it began leasing in March for its sales and marketing division, to include a new 125,952-square-foot building for a total campus footprint of more than 240,000 square feet.
Tavistock filed a Development Plan with Orange County on Friday for the new building.
"We started working on this deal pretty much full time in May 2016. It took a bit over a year of diligent work by all parties to put the deal together," Jeff York of York Property Company, who represented Orange Lake Resorts in the lease transaction, told GrowthSpotter.
"The strategy on the part of Orange Lake was that they are operating their many divisions out of multiple buildings on and off resort property, and as a result it's not the most functional and efficient way to conduct business," he continued. "So they were really looking for a way to bring their administrative corporate headquarters and all divisions under one roof in a modern upscale environement."
A centralized gathering space will be created between the two buildings that will sit roughly 100 yards apart. Orange Lake's lease for the new building will be for approximately 12 years with renewal options.
"Our company has doubled in size over the last three years, which put pressure on our office space," said Tom Nelson, Orange Lake Resorts' president and incoming CEO. "That location at Infinity Park came up as no. 1 after a lot of research with Jeff in terms of being central. We think our business will double again in five years, so we wanted to be in a place that allowed us to recruit the best talent in the region."
Construction of the new building is scheduled to break ground this fall and open in Fourth Quarter 2018, said Tavistock, which declined to estimate construction cost.
Orange Lake will use HuntonBrady's interior design team for buildout of the new office building. Conservative estimates of that buildout cost are near $6.3 million.
Located with frontage on S. John Young Parkway, just southeast of Destination Parkway and near an intersection of the Florida Turnpike and Beachline Expressway, the roughly 200-acre Infinity Park property has sat vacant since 2010, but boasts more than $1 billion in high-end hospitality and corporate office potential.
Tavistock formed a partnership in 2007 with local architect C.T. Hsu and his wife Jean Hsu to buy the property for $50 million, which was then a 206-acre industrial/commercial property owned by former semiconductor producer Agere Systems.
Agere's microchip factory, which closed in 2005, was demolished on the property in 2010.
Hsu and Tavistock sold a 9.94-acre parcel on the southwest corner of the property in 2012 for $5 million to Connextions Inc., a call center company. That building is the one that was leased in March by Orange Lake for its marketing and sales divisions.
Of the approximate 200 acres at Infinity Park, about 20 is now developed, Peek said. Orange Lakes' new building will cover 11.13 acres.
With another 20 acres to be mass graded and prepared for future development, that leaves about 150 gross acres remaining at Infinity Park. The property as a whole could accommodate up to 4.5 million square feet of mixed-use commercial space.
Tavistock claims the Orange Lake Resorts deal to be the largest office lease transaction in Orange County in 2017, which local commercial office brokers and associates affirmed on Monday morning.
"I think this is a great catch for Tavistock. It shows they're serious about that office market and are willing to compete to get the deal," Jamie Barati, managing director for office services at Cite Partners, told GrowthSpotter. "The fact that activity typically breeds other activity, I would not be surprised to see more from Infinity Park. I know that there are other deals out there in that same submarket ... but there is some major brand recognition that comes with the development of this Infinity Park project with Tavistock that, I think, means something more here in Orlando."
Large corporate office blocks along the John Young Parkway corridor include Lockheed Martin, Darden Restaurants, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Starwood and Wyndham Vacation Ownership.