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Blue Steel Development buys 66 acres in Orlando with plans for 450,000SF industrial park

A rendering of an industrial building within Axcess Park at 33rd.
A rendering of an industrial building within Axcess Park at 33rd. (Blue Steel Development)

Lakeland-based Blue Steel Development just bought the long-time vacant Kennedy Campus development site in Orlando with plans to build a spec industrial park called Axcess Park at 33rd.

The developer paid $10.4 million for about 66 acres of land on the north side of L.B. McLeod Road, extending east to President Barack Obama Parkway. The trade breaks down to about $157,575 per acre.

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Insight on the land owner behind this opportunity, what team of local consultants he's built thus far, and why demand is attractive in this Orlando submarket.

An investment affiliate of Bill Kennedy, founder of Nephron Pharmaceuticals, sold the property. Kennedy paid $4 million for the land in 2010. About a year later, his family trust built a distribution center for Nephron on an adjacent 5.3 acres, but that facility shut its doors in 2016 to consolidate operations in South Carolina.

In 2018, GrowthSpotter reported Kennedy sought entitlements with the City of Orlando to allow a large four-building industrial park with warehouses ranging from 57,600 square feet to 137,000 square feet, totaling 410,600 square feet of gross floor area.

Earlier this year, Blue Steel Development and civil engineer Kimley-Horn teamed up to submit a revised master plan that increases the total warehouse area from 404,800 square feet to about 450,000 square feet. Revised plans also account for three warehouse buildings instead of four.

An aerial site plan for the planned 450,000-square-foot Axcess Park at 33rd industrial park.
An aerial site plan for the planned 450,000-square-foot Axcess Park at 33rd industrial park. (JLL)

Features will include 36-foot clear ceiling heights, rear loading areas, ESFR sprinklers and trailer parking.

JLL’s Matt Sullivan, Wilson McDowell and Bobby Isola are handling leasing efforts.

Blue Steel Development principal Austin Jones told GrowthSpotter the firm intends to break ground on the first phase of the project in October. According to marketing material, the company is expected to complete the first phase by the second quarter of 2021.

Records show Blue Steel Development scored a $5.2 million mortgage from Valley National Bank to finance the land deal.

The property lies withing the 33rd Street Industrial submarket, which according to a second quarter industrial report by Avison Young, has over 4.3 million square feet of rentable industrial space.

According to the report, the 33rd Street submarket area had the seventh lowest overall vacancy rate for industrial (6.08%) among 12 local submarkets tracked by Avison Young.

The second quarter report shows the area has no new construction going on at this time, and an average lease rate of $7.03 per square foot.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at arabines@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-5427, or tweet me at @amanda_rabines. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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