Orlando-based Summit Construction Management Group has 11.7 acres under contract in Ocoee with a closing anticipated this month, and plans for new retail and a self storage facility they may self-brand and operate.
Located at 255 Fountains West Blvd., the site lies off the Ocoee Apopka Road and West Road intersection, partially obscured by the Publix-anchored Fountains West shopping center that's owned and managed by Halvorsen Holdings.
Living Waters Church is the land owner and prospective seller. Summit previously developed the Renaissance Charter School on the adjacent corner. In working with city staff on development options for the church's property, growing traffic in that area was a sensitive issue.
Introducing self storage as a low traffic generator was well received by staff, and combining that with limited retail was preferred when compared to another high-density shopping center, Summit principal Todd Lucas told GrowthSpotter.
Market and population demographics in a three-mile radius of the site are strong for self storage and growing. Coupling those positive factors and the location's limited visibility made it a poor focus for retail, but ideal for self storage, Lucas said.
Summit's three principals have about 30 years of self storage experience between them. Lucas was a former vice president of development at Extra Space Storage before joining the company.
"We are going to own the property, however we'll entertain talking to two or three of the top management companies," he said. "We could brand it ourselves and operate independently as well, we have the experience."
Summit had its amendment request to the 43-acre Fountains West PUD Land Use Plan earn second reading approval in mid-June from Ocoee's City Commission.
A preliminary site plan earned approval concurrently, and now a filing for construction permits will follow, with groundbreaking anticipated by January.
Phase 1 on the church's property calls for a 102,600-square-foot, three-story self storage facility, 18,000 square feet of retail-commercial and stormwater retention on roughly two thirds of the 11 acres.
Total project cost of the self storage should range from $7 million to $9 million, Lucas estimated. The developer is in the middle of designing its construction plans with Bradenton-based Studio x 2 Architects, and Summit serving as its own general contractor.
For the retail segment, Summit is finalizing a purchase and sale agreement for a portion of the site to be developed as a daycare facility, Lucas said. Summit will develop the entire site and prepare that pad for construction.
After those segments, Summit has been negotiating with the city's fire department for potential sale and development of the Phase 2 balance for a new fire station and training area, though no commitments have been made, Lucas said.
Population growth is propelling Orlando's self storage market, which was the 15th fastest growing metro area in the United States through 2016, according to annual U.S. Census data released last year.
Orange County drew more new residents than any Florida county, and the area improved its rank to no. 23 nationally among most populous metros, which includes Kissimmee and Sanford.