Example of a new Space Box Storage facility in Niceville, Florida.
Example of a new Space Box Storage facility in Niceville, Florida. (Oden Hardy Construction)

A Mississippi-based developer is bringing their own self storage brand to Greater Orlando, with plans for a new 90,000-square-foot facility in Apopka and more land sought in the region this year.

Located at 1566 E. Semoran Blvd., York Developments paid $1.085 million for the 4.5-acre site in 2006 through affiliates and has sat on it since, coming close to developing in 2010 before pausing due to the recession, said Corey Ward, managing partner in charge of Florida expansion.

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"Now that the market is right again we're moving ahead with the project," he told GrowthSpotter. "Apopka is a (target market) in part because we found all the REIT-owned facilities around there are all full, and prices are rising."

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The company owns and operates Space Box Storage facilities, and is focused on growing the new brand in the southeast with a pipeline of developments in Florida, Mississippi and Tennessee.

York's Development Plan calls for a 90,000-square-foot Space Box facility across three stories, which is now under review by city staff. It also filed for stormwater management permits last week with the St. Johns River Water Management District.

Population growth is propelling Orlando's self storage market, which was the 15th fastest growing metro area in the United States through 2016, according to annual U.S. Census data released last year.

Orange County drew more new residents than any Florida county, and the area improved its rank to no. 23 nationally among most populous metros, which includes Kissimmee and Sanford.

The company has several new facilities of around 100,000 square feet in development or under construction in Florida, including in Lake Park and Crestview. The Apopka facility will be its fourth in the state.

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Ward anticipates permitting approvals to allow a groundbreaking in Apopka by mid-summer, with an estimated nine-month construction period to follow.

He declined to forecast total project cost, but said York will be seeking a construction loan in the coming months.

Looking forward, the company will be actively seeking more sites in Central Florida to bring under contract this year, Ward said. Key specs include urban sites of 0.5 acres on up to 1.5 acres for suburban, and highly occupied self storage facilities nearby with rates of $1.30 per square foot or more.

Tampa-based Oden Hardy Construction is general contractor on the project, Florida Engineering Group is civil engineer, and Iowa-based Wade Squiers the architect.

While York has sold its finished self storage properties to national REITs in the past, the company doesn't plan for now on selling off its Space Box brand and portfolio, Ward said.

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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