New self-storage player enters Orlando with plans in growing tourism corridor

Bob Moser
GrowthSpotter

A new player in Orlando self-storage filed plans Monday for a cutting-edge facility in the tourism corridor, and anticipates closing on the land this month with a retail component to follow.

Located along Palm Parkway north of its intersection with Marbella Palms Court, the 2.75-acre parcel lies between a Hilton Garden Inn and the site of a planned 250-unit apartment complex by Epoch Residential. 

South Carolina-based TD Self Storage, an affiliate of Auro Investment Group, has had the site under contract since last fall. It was previously under contract to Simply Self Storage from Summer 2017 through September, when that buyer backed out.

The company is scheduled to close on its land purchase around April 16 and pursue an aggressive development schedule this year, said Roger Burgin, senior vice president for business development and acquisitions. 

UPDATED: TD acquired the land through an affiliate in early May for $2.9 million.

"I worked for Simply Self Storage prior to coming here, and in researching the Orlando market we found that area to be a great growth (sub)market with a lot of new residential, so it's growing out of being just a hotel hub," he told GrowthSpotter on Monday. "There's not much self-storage there now unless you go to Windermere, which will be more expensive. People want convenience and we can provide that." 

TD Self Storage filed its Development Plan late Monday with Orange County for a 102,804-square-foot, 830-unit self-storage facility on the site. 

But after recently learning they won't be compelled to sell part of the property's rear to the Florida Department of Transportation for Interstate 4, the developer can now add an estimated 5,000-square-foot retail pad to the Palm Parkway frontage, and will need to update the DP to reflect that. 

The buyer's first key step came last week, when it earned approval at Orange's Development Review Committee to convert commercial uses within the Ruby Lake Planned Development zoning to self-storage on this parcel. 

This stretch of the tourism corridor has drawn multiple new housing investments in the past two years, including Northwood Ravin's market-entry project now under construction near Vineland Premium Outlets, 10 acres under contract by a national developer facing Big Sand Lake for up to 286 units, and Houston-based The Hanover Company buying 17.74 acres further north along Turkey Lake Road for a planned 394 apartments. 

And directly across Palm Parkway from the site under contract, Pulte Homes has been building the 236-lot Ruby Lake Estates since 2016, and has an adjacent 15 acres planned for up to 130 townhomes. 

TD Self Storage plans to self-brand its storage facility assets once it builds a scale of 30 sites, up from about 14 now. In the meantime it has a branding partnership with national REIT and self-storage operator Life Storage.

Burgin said February 2019 is the developer's target to complete and open the self-storage facility, and will own and manage the retail frontage building through an affiliate. 

The property will be able to house large recreational vehicles, and will be "fully green" in its design and construction, with solar panels and rainwater retention for landscaping use, he added. 

Total project cost is estimated near $12 million, Burgin said. The company will close in cash on the land and then seek a construction loan from its stable of past lenders. 

TD Self Storage will face new competition in the immediate area, as three such projects have had plans filed within the past year that are less than four miles away along Palm ParkwayTurkey Lake Road and S. International Drive.

Burgin said his group is aware of the pending competition but not fazed. They estimate 80 percent of a self-storage facility's customers live within a three-mile radius, and at that range the submarket is under-supplied. 

Tri-3 Civil Engineering has served as civil engineer on the TD Storage plans, Magley Design is landscape architect, Michigan-based Designhaus has been the architect, Oden Hardy Construction is pegged as general contractor, and Miranda Fitzgerald of Lowndes Drosdick Doster Kantor & Reed, P.A. is providing legal counsel. 

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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