Industrial Real Estate Developments

Business owner & GC friend plan warehouse on spec in NW Orlando

A local business owner and his general contractor friend are partnering to develop an industrial warehouse in Northwest Orlando on spec, and are undecided on whether to lease the space or move the business there.

The developer affiliate, Princeton RJR LLC, includes Richard Kowalski, president of RTR Suppliers, Inc., and Richard L. Haines, president of RLH Construction LLC.


Kowalski bought a 1.04-acre site on the northwest corner of Mercy Drive and W. Princeton Street for $120,000 in April 2005 as a personal investment.

He and Haines became friends in recent years and decided to pursue development of the property, figuring now is as good a time as any with Greater Orlando's industrial space demand as high as ever.


They filed an Administrative Master Plan in early January with the City of Orlando for a 12,433-square-foot warehouse that includes 500 square feet of office space.

"Richard will handle the construction and has a good vision for this, so I'm excited," Kowalski told GrowthSpotter on Tuesday. "This was originally going to be a spec building for lease, but now we're on the fence about whether to move RTR Suppliers here."

Kowalski's company is an EPA-certified reclaimer of industrial-grade refrigerants (ex: Freon), with clients that include Central Florida's major theme parks, hospitals and NASA.

RTR Suppliers currently leases a warehouse in Orlando with about 5,500 square feet on Hanging Moss Road, and has a second building in Cocoa of 6,000 square feet where the cleaning and disposal of old refrigerants is done.

This new building in Orlando that would double the size of RTR's current space could help to an extent, Kowalski said, but wouldn't replace the processing facility in Cocoa.

The Mercy Drive property has been rezoned, and Kowalski expects site work to begin in the next two months. Estimated as a $650,000 investment to build, vertical construction could be completed six months after start, he added.

The developer sourced a construction loan from Iberia Bank last year to support the project, Kowalski said.

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