Equity Partners does not plan to stop growing its office mecca by the University of Central Florida.
According to a recently submitted St. Johns River Water Management District permit application, Equity Partners is seeking to construct a new 68,000-square-foot spec office building at 12700 Ingenuity Drive.
Plans for the new office come shortly after the real estate development and brokerage firm completed its 25,000-square-foot Discovery Cove single-story office building at 3000 Discovery Dr., which is leased to the food and beverage company, HighKey.
Michael Fess, president of Equity Partners, told GrowthSpotter the company has managed to steadily develop and lease new office buildings in and around the Central Florida Research Park, despite a struggling office market nationwide.
“We have a lot of national credit tenants, some of them had not been using their buildings [during the pandemic], but continued to pay rent,” he said. “We’re fortunate as developers.”
Equity Partners’ steady growth, he adds, is due in large part to their portfolio’s proximity to UCF and other CFRP businesses, which tend to specialize in defense and security services, as well as research.
“Employees want to be adjacent to the park,” he said. “And the university provides that high-quality, high-tech student base that will eventually become employees.”
He compares the mix of large and small companies within the park to a “biome” that enables the opportunity for businesses to work together with researchers at the university and other employers.
Another way Equity Partners manages to stay competitive is by uniforming their offices with a slew of amenities including fitness centers, game rooms and courtyard space, he adds. Typically their spec office developments feature single-story floor plans so tenants may have more flexibility with the design layout of their space and not be interrupted by stairs or elevators.
Ingenuity One is an example of that. Fess said he expects to complete the office by the end of next year. Records show an entity tied to the company paid $1.1 million for the 8-acre property earlier this summer.
SK Consortium is the civil engineer. C4 Architecture is the architect.
“We have several prospects [for Ingenuity One], but the property is not leased,” he said. “Prior to Discovery One, we developed the 60,000-square-foot Science One [office] in 2019. That too was a speculative, very similar, office building and it was leased entirely to ServiceNow, prior to completion.”
Between 2016 and 2017, EquityPartners developed the 22,000-square-foot Challenger One office building at 11211 Challenger Parkway. Cole Engineering signed a long-term lease at the property.
Fess said Equity Partners owns about 400,000 square feet in or adjacent to the CFRP, most of which began as speculative developments. The company has purchased and renovated several other properties in the area, including Research One, which is leased to Luminar Technologies.
“There’s no one else out there providing spec office space,” he said. “Other developers don’t often build before a lease is signed.”