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Winter Park self-storage developer buys former food-packing plant to redevelop

Nuvo Development & Construction, a Winter Park company that specializes in self-storage, plans to build a 99,000-square-foot storage facility at a former food-packing plant in Orlando.

Nuvo, under affiliate IP Nuvo South Orange Properties LLC, paid $1.065 million for the former packing plant at 3854 S. Orange Ave., according to a deed recorded Aug. 4. The seller, Thomas Huizenga, previously bought the property in 1993 for $275,000.

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The site consists of 1.98 acres with two buildings, one built in 1956, the other in 1981, along with 48 parking spaces. Nuvo's engineer on the project, Sam Sebaali of Florida Engineering Group, said the buildings will be demolished to make way for two new structures, one three stories tall, the other a single story. Sebaali projects building permits to be in hand within the next 45 days.

The site of a former food packing plant at 3854 S. Orange Ave., acquired to be redeveloped as a self-storage facility.
The site of a former food packing plant at 3854 S. Orange Ave., acquired to be redeveloped as a self-storage facility. (Google Maps)

Most of the buildings' space will be used for personal storage units, but the project will also include 1,100 square feet of retail, according to documents Nuvo filed with the Orlando Planning Division in early September. Gary Cardamone, the company's CEO, could not be reached for comment.

The market for self- or personal-storage units continues to expand both in Greater Orlando, and nationwide. The amount of self-storage space nationally has grown from 3.31 square feet per U.S. resident in 1995 to 7.25 square feet per resident in 2015, according to the Self Storage Association, an industry trade group.

The association says the self-storage industry closely mirrors the economy as a whole. The industry was booming in 2007 and 2008, so much so that in some areas it was overbuilt. When the housing and commercial real estate sectors crashed during the recession, the self-storage market also floundered.

Now, with an improved economy, people and families are moving to take advantage of better jobs and often have to store their belongings until they get settled. In Florida, which is seeing a surge of in-migration from young families, students, retirees and foreign immigrants, demand for storage is equaling or exceeding supply.

A recent study by CBRE ranked Orlando the 10th most undersupplied large metro area in the country for self-storage. The company based its rankings on a formula overlaying occupancy rates, income and capitalization rates.

Orlando was the only Florida metro area that was listed as undersupplied for storage. Miami was rated as being in "equilibrium," while Tampa-St. Petersburg is "oversupplied," according to the survey.

Orlando's status as a market where demand has outstripped supply is reflected in the launching of a string of new self-storage buildings in the metro area. Late last month, Johnson Development Associates of Spartanburg, S.C., sought a land-use amendment to construct a three-story, 100,000-square-foot storage facility between Oviedo and Winter Park in Seminole County.

And in July, Broward County-based Preferred Realty & Development Inc. purchased 6.5 acres in Sanford where the South Florida company plans to build a 700-unit, 91,000-square-foot storage building.

Nuvo's storage buildings reflect changes in the industry, which used to be dominated by single-level, garage-style units which customers could drive up to. Now storage buildings are multi-leveled, stylishly designed edifices featuring climate-controlled units protected by ubiquitous security cameras.

Cardamone, Nuvo's CEO got involved in the storage business in 1999, forming USA Stor-A-Way with his brother Rich as a partner. They developed, owned and operated more than 1 million square feet of storage and retail property with the brand, according to the company website.

The Cardamones later sold the firm. In 2008, Gary founded Nuvo Company, a credit card processing firm. Nuvo processes more than $1 billion for more than 3,500 clients, totaling more than 1 million in transactions, according to the website.

Nuvo has developed several storage buildings locally, including USA Stor-a-Way on Curry Ford Road, and Waterford Lakes Self Storage on Woodland Lake Drive, both in Orlando.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at msalinero@outlook.com. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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