A St. Petersburg retail developer has bought a Regions Bank at the main entrance to ChampionsGate but plans to demolish the building and replace it with two restaurants.
An affiliate of Vantage Properties paid $1.3 million this week for the 1.3-acre outparcel next to Publix.
Vantage Vice President Frank Mirasola and project manager Vanessa Norman met with Osceola County planning staff in September to discuss a conceptual site plan to replace the 3,846-square-foot bank branch with the restaurants.
The plan calls for a 2,500-square-foot restaurant and an adjacent 2,000-square foot QSR with drive-thru. Norman told GrowthSpotter on Thursday the company is still in discussions with possible tenants and hasn't set a date to demolish the bank.
"Nothing is set in stone," she said. "Everything we've shown the local jurisdiction is still preliminary."
She said Vantage would have to amend the ChampionsGate Village Planned Development before pulling any permits, or even before submitting a Site Development Plan.
The ChampionsGate/Reunion submarket has some of the highest restaurant demand in the tourism corridor, according to David Gabbai, managing director of retail services for Colliers International Orlando.
Gabbai has placed clients in the ChampionsGate market. "The restaurants do extremely well out there, and it's a non-traditional market," he said. That's because of the concentration of vacation homes and international tourists who prefer to eat out.
"The disposable dollar for restaurants is very strong over there, and there's very few restaurant seats to absorb that demand," he said. "And it's a captive audience, so that's a smart move for a developer to take on an asset that's really not the highest and best use for the property."
The opening of two new apartment complexes and an active adult community this year will add more than 1,000 permanent residents to the golf resort.
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