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Highlighted in red is the 243 acres acquired by Dalfen Industrial.
Highlighted in red is the 243 acres acquired by Dalfen Industrial. (Orange County Property Appraiser)

Dallas-based Dalfen Industrial just bought a large chunk of undeveloped land northeast of the Orlando International Airport where it plans to build a massive spec industrial park.

About 243 acres with prime frontage along State Road 417 was sold by Bal Bay Realty LTD. The entity is led by John J. Brunetti Jr., a real estate investor who comes from a long line of real estate magnates in South Florida and New Jersey.

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After selling its latest warehouse properties for $42 million, the developer is prepping to build another 108,000 square feet of spec industrial.

The property sits just south of Lee Vista Boulevard and the 112-acre Beltway Commerce Center developed by Taurus Investment Holdings.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Jared Bonshire, David Perez and Taylor Zambito represented Dalfen in the transaction.

Update: The 243-acre property sold for $15.5 million, according to a deed recently recorded in Orange County. Bonshire told GrowthSpotter the price represents a favorable cost for the developer and its plans.

He said the project will be economically competitive with other industrial development markets where land is cheaper, such as in Apopka and Polk County. To give an example, Amazon recently announced it would be opening a second facility in Auburndale.

Dalfen plans to develop a multi-phase fulfillment center that could accommodate about 3 million square feet of Class A industrial space.

The buyer is America’s largest Hispanic-owned food company. Plans call for more than 654,500 square feet of industrial space.

“It represents the first true bulk development in the city of Orlando,” Bonshire said.

The Cushman & Wakefield industrial team also will handle leasing for the Dalfen asset. According to Bonshire, users will be able to occupy 500,000 square feet to 1.5 million square feet.

The owners see themselves catering to the type of users that will be distributing not only specifically in Orlando, but up and down the I-4 corridor and the Space Coast, Bonshire said.

The property is part of a much larger assemblage of land acquired by family members of Brunetti Jr. in the early 1970s.

Around 2004, a bulk of their holdings had been approved for thousands of homes and apartments, but those plans were infamously postponed, partly due to discoveries of buried explosives from a World War II-era bombing range called the Pinecastle Jeep Range.

A lawsuit over the cost of cleaning up 1,500 acres of the site was settled in 2018.

Brunetti Jr.'s family members founded the Brunetti Organization. His father, the late Brunetti Sr., was known mostly as the owner of the Hialeah Park Race Track.

Dalfen is one of the nation’s largest buyers of industrial real estate. The firm currently owns and operates millions of square feet of industrial properties throughout the United States and in Canada.

The company is one of many taking interest in the Orlando International Airport submarket.

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GrowthSpotter reported in July the increased investor interest in that area, due in part to a new $2.8 billion terminal that will bring the total number of workers to 2,500.

Foundry Commercial, for instance, expects to deliver phase two of its Crews Commerce Center on the northeast corner of Orange Blossom Trail and West Taft Vineland Road by the first quarter of 2020. The second phase will consist of 430,000 square feet of industrial space across three buildings.

Once complete, the entire project will span a little more than 768,000 square feet.

In 2018, Amazon began operating a 2.3 million-square-foot fulfillment center in Lake Nona.

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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