Powell Design Group to be first office tenant for The Packing District redevelopment

Local architecture, planning and interior design firm Powell Design Group will be the first new office tenant in Dr. Phillips Charities' newly-branded Packing District redevelopment in west College Park, with plans to repurpose a former tire service building. 

Powell Design has spent the past 18 years in its mid-century modern office building on the eastern edge of College Park at 303 E. Par St., but sold that building in June 2017 for $2.14 million. 

"I just thought it was time for me to sell and get out of real estate, and in doing so we leased back that building for about nine months, but that time is now up," founder George Powell told GrowthSpotter. "Coincidentally the Packing District announcement came up around the same time. I've known (Dr. Phillips Charities' president) Ken Robinson, and we worked out a deal to be the first ones in there." 

Powell was born and raised in College Park, and has headquartered his architecture firm in the neighborhood for the past 24 of the firm's 34 years in business. 

"I wanted us to stay in the area, and believe in what Dr. Phillips Charities is doing with The Packing District plans," Powell said. 

Powell Design is now working on conversion and adaptive reuse design of the former Safety Tire Service building at 2325 N. Orange Blossom Trail, for its new office in the middle of The Packing District.

With about 4,000 square feet of leasable area and the ability to enclose up to 6,000 square feet, that building should be ready for occupancy by late fall, Powell said. The long-term lease will likely run a period of five years with multiple renewal options.

The tire service building's entire interior will be renovated, and its brick exterior will be cleaned by owner Dr. Phillips Charities, with new storefront glass installed and the utilitarian roll-up doors replaced by a a more traditional office front.  

Dr. Phillips Charities will temporarily lease space to Powell Design in the former M&I Bank building at 2250 N. Orange Blossom Trail, located on the opposite side of the Princeton Street intersection to the tire service building.

The non-profit organization and city of Orlando  announced in early December they were working on long-term redevelopment of 202 acres in west College Park, for the newly-branded Packing District that would convert or redevelop an array of present-day warehouses into a mixed-use district.

The project includes a planned 104-acre public park, for which land was bought in February by Dr. Phillips Charities and then gifted to the city.

The organization has not decided what private uses it will develop that property for yet, and is still exploring development options for the 84 acres it owns surrounding Princeton Street and Orange Blossom Trail. Conceptual plans include a mix of new construction and renovation of old buildings for office, retail and residential uses. 

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