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Chicago developer picks Kissimmee for new industrial park

Chicago-based First Industrial has filed plans to build a 333,506-square-foot industrial park on John Young Parkway in Kissimmee.
Chicago-based First Industrial has filed plans to build a 333,506-square-foot industrial park on John Young Parkway in Kissimmee. (VHB/C4 Architecture)

A Chicago developer with multiple assets in South Florida is looking to grow its Central Florida portfolio in Kissimmee with plans for a 333,345-square-foot industrial park.

First Industrial Realty Trust has purchase contract for 43.5 acres on John Young Parkway south of Ball Park Road in the lucrative LOOP/Tupperware submarket. The land falls within the former Flora Ridge DRI, and it is slated for industrial use in the mixed-use PUD as it is immediately north of a KUA water treatment plant.

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First Industrial submitted a site plan calling for four dock-high warehouse buildings. each 43 feet high, ranging in size from 71,050 square feet to 105,563 square feet. The developer would construct a new segment of Flora Boulevard through the southern boundary line, linking the existing road to John Young Boulevard.

The submitted site plan shows four warehouse buildings ranging in size from 71,050 to 105,563 square feet. The developer would build an extension of Flora Boulevard to connect to John Young Parkway.
The submitted site plan shows four warehouse buildings ranging in size from 71,050 to 105,563 square feet. The developer would build an extension of Flora Boulevard to connect to John Young Parkway. (VRB)

“It’s an interesting site because Kissimmee doesn’t have much of an industrial base,” First Industrial’s Chris Willson told GrowthSpotter. The company currently owns seven industrial assets in Orlando but this would be its first new-build in the market.

The project heads to the city’s Development Review Committee on May 5. VHB is the planner and civil engineer and landscape architect, while C4 Architecture is the building architect.

Willson said First Industrial hopes to close on the property and start construction in 2021.

The site is one of the last remaining vacant parcels within Flora Ridge following the recent sales to Epoch Residential and Ocean Bleu Development. Epoch has entitlements for 788 dwelling units and is currently building the first two multifamily communities, which will comprise 448 apartment homes. Future plans include either a third apartment community or an assisted living facility.

The developer expects to break ground in April on the new 50-acre shopping center across from The LOOP.

Earlier this year Tampa-based Ocean Bleu paid $21.7 million for the 85-acres in Flora Ridge fronting on Osceola Parkway. CEO Bryan Schultz said his mixed-use project will bring a new ALDI Food Market grocery store, a fitness chain, Floor & Decor home improvement store, restaurants, hotels and a possible medical campus.

The former Osceola County Softball Complex lies just north of the property. The county has sold that site to Elevation Development, which filed plans with JV partner The Latigo Group to build a pair of luxury apartment complexes on the 25-acre site. The plan calls for a mix of 4-story and 5-story buildings. They will be elevator-served with interior corridors.

The company plans to build a 1.5 million square foot business park to serve the Disney and Four Corners area.

This would be the second major industrial project to launch in Osceola County, which lags behind neighboring Polk and Orange counties, with just 3.2 million square feet of industrial space in the county and none under construction as of the first quarter, according to JLL.

In March, EastGroup Properties paid $20.2 million for 122 acres in West Osceola near the Disney parks for a future 1.5 million-square-foot Class A industrial park.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-6261, or tweet me at @LKinslerOGrowth. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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