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An aerial view of the land Whitley Capital acquired by the S. Orange Avenue and W. Taft Vineland Road intersection.
An aerial view of the land Whitley Capital acquired by the S. Orange Avenue and W. Taft Vineland Road intersection. (Whitley Capital)

Winter Park-based Whitley Capital just acquired a large assemblage of land directly west of Orlando International Airport with plans to develop about a million square feet of industrial space.

According to a deed recorded in Orange County last month, the developer paid $12.2 million to acquire about 72 acres of land just off the southwest corner of S. Orange Avenue and W. Taft Vineland Road.

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The privately held commercial real estate investment and development company was formed in 2016 by commercial real estate veteran Stephen Whitley. Prior to founding Whitley Capital, he served as a senior vice president at Liberty Property Trust for more than 20 years.

Whitley told GrowthSpotter he plans to develop the industrial park on spec. He said the company plans to start developing the first building in the next nine to 12 months.

The site, owned by heirs of the late Betty S. Cone, sat undeveloped for more than 20 years. JLL’s Bret Felberg, Josh Lipoff and Jeff Morris represented the seller.

“This was one of the most competitive land sales in the county, probably ever,” Lipoff said. He points out that the site near “strong labor demographics” and is “strategically located” by the Orlando International Airport and major thoroughfares like the Martin Andersen Beachline Expressway (SR 528), the Florida’s Turnpike and U.S. Highway 441.

In February, GrowthSpotter reported that McCraney Property Company was actively focusing on securing the land, going as far as submitting a Preliminary Review Plan in Orange County for a 977,400-square-foot industrial park.

The site one of the few, if not only, remaining tracts of land by the airport with the capacity to build a large industrial park, Lipoff said.

“All the land around the airport is spoken for at this time,” he said. “There’s some tiny sites, but as far as anything you can put a large industrial park site in, I don’t know [of any].”

Lipoff and JLL’s Mike Borling were tapped by the developer to handle leasing the future industrial park.

Buildings at the park can range from 100,000 square feet to 550,000 square feet. To keep its edge, the project is being designed with ample trailer parking and the ability for cross-docking.

Nearby, McCraney fully leased its 700,000-square-foot Bent Oak Industrial Park, which was built in speculation along Taft Vineland Road near the Beachline Expressway-Florida Turnpike interchange.

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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