Central Florida developer plans twin ready-to-work office buildings for Lake Mary

GrowthSpotter contributor

After a successful debut in Daytona Beach, former Seminole County resident Chris Butera is bringing his SMART office concept to Lake Mary with two planned buildings on South Country Club Road. 

The buildings, at the northeast corner of Country Club and South Third Street, will feature some of the latest office building technology. These include Nest Learning Thermostats that save energy and can be operated from anywhere using a smartphone app; Wi-Fi door locks you can remotely control or access via phone app; and energy-saving LED lighting. 

The buildings will be move-in ready, so small-business owners don’t have to worry about fixtures, plumbing or other extras. 

“No buildout, no contractors, no fixtures needed,” Butera told GrowthSpotter. “We can even provide complete furniture packages through CORT and add it to your monthly lease.  Just bring your computer and you’re ready to work.” 

Butera’s company for this project, Country Club Professional Plaza LLC, is in final site review with Lake Mary. He said construction on the first building, a 10,309-square-foot, two-story structure, should start at the beginning of the year. The building will have six suites sized from 1,500 to 1,900 square feet. 

The first building should be finished in fall 2019, he said, after which work will start on an 8,800-square-foot building at the same site that could be two or three stories. Butera said his investment in the first phase will run about $3 million, then $2.5 million for the second building. 

Butera’s company bought the 1.74-acre site in May for $947,000, according to Seminole County Property Appraiser records. 

SMART is an acronym. According to the company logo, the S stands for “sized” for today’s ideal professional environment; M is for “modern” architectural design, fixtures, finishes & colors; A for “adaptive” to changing employee and configuration needs; R for “ready,” denoting built-out suites for immediate occupancy; and T for “tech-friendly,” designed to best utilize today’s technology. 

Butera’s first SMART building is nearly finished in Daytona Beach.  

“The project in Daytona was very well received by the market,” he said.  “They have these small, ready-to-go spaces with clean, new modern features. That’s a void we’re trying to fill in Lake Mary.” 

Having attended high school in Lake Mary and previously worked for NAI Realvest in Orlando, Butera said he remains familiar with the Metro Orlando real estate market. He is actively looking for new Central Florida sites for more SMART buildings. 

“I’ve kept my finger on the pulse of what’s happening in Orlando (while) in Ormond Beach and I’ve found opportunities to bring what we’ve been doing in Ormond Beach over to Seminole County,” he said. 

Butera said he is negotiating with a general contractor but couldn’t reveal the company. The architect is Benjamin P. Butera AIA, Chris Butera’s father who worked for many years in Orlando before moving to Ormond Beach. The civil engineer is Newkirk Engineering of Ormond Beach. 

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