Red Lion Properties LLC, a Sanford company that has primarily invested in and renovated residential real estate, is moving into the light industrial sector in a big way.
Red Lion plans to build three light industrial-office warehouses at 400 Gordon St. in Sanford, company owner Shanze Lee told GrowthSpotter on Monday. Red Lion owns other properties at 310 and 320 Gordon St.
On its website, Red Lion touts itself as a "real estate solutions" company that helps homeowners and prospective buyers. But Lee said the company is shifting its focus to light industrial and even retail, citing guidance from his commercial real estate advisor, David Hammett of CRE Advisors.
"We bought our first commercial property two years ago and have continued to develop residential properties along the way," Lee said. "However, the commercial real estate market will continue to become a bigger and bigger part of our business.
"We have some great commercial tenants now and are looking forward to adding one to two of these properties to our business portfolio each year going forward," he added. "We have set goals to build or purchase some retail properties in the next (few) years as well."
Lee said the Gordon Street project will be built in two phases. The first will consist of two buildings totaling 12,000 square feet. He estimates the company's investment in this phase will be $1.2 million for site development and construction. Red Lion bought the 1.26-acre property for $314,000 in October.
The city of Sanford is close to final construction plan approval for the first phase, Lee said.
"We'll be breaking ground on site work in the next 30 days," he said. "Vertical construction we should wrap up in June or July of this year."
The second phase will be one 5,200-square-foot building. Lee said the timing on the third building will depend on interest from potential tenants. The buildings will be primarily devoted to warehouse, with 10 to 16 percent as office space.
The property is currently vacant industrial and located in the Gordon Subdivision with similar light industrial land uses. Some of the nearby tenants on Gordon Street include national companies such as Terminix, Blue Bell Creameries and Spectrum.
"I've already spoken to two or three businesses that are interested" in renting space in the new buildings, Lee said. "We'd like to have at least one national company."
Hammett of CRE Advisors will market the property, Lee said, and Fidelity Bank of Florida is providing financing.