South Carolina-based Johnson Development Associates has launched construction on its sixth Orlando-area self-storage facility, after paying $1.2 million Feb. 10 for a 3-acre parcel in the Four Corners area.
Robert Sucher, JDA's senior real estate manager, told GrowthSpotter the company chose the site next to the new Culver's restaurant and in front of the Douglas Grand at Westside apartments specifically because it's one of the only sites on the tourism corridor that allows self-storage.
JDA wanted to be near the W192 - S.R. 429 interchange, but most of the corridor is zoned Tourist Commercial, which prohibits self-storage. This lot is in a Planned Development that included self-storage as an allowable use.
"That's one of the competitive advantages along the corridor, because of the limited zoning in Tourist Commercial," he said on Thursday.
The plan calls for a three-story, climate-controlled building totaling 94,000 square feet, plus dozens of single-story drive-up bays wrapping around the perimeter for a total of 668 units. The interior of the property also would provide covered parking for RV storage.
"Everything is designed to oriented internally," Sucher said. "There will be zero visibility of any storage doors from the outside. That's something we do purposefully. We worked very closely with Osceola County on the design, so it was a collaborative effort."
The Four Corners project, which will be a CubeSmart operation, is JDA's second facility in Osceola County. The company is currently building a similar-sized ExtraSpace Storage hybrid facility on Cypress Parkway in Poinciana and will break ground in the fall on a facility in Oveido. It has two complexes under construction in Orange County, and a third under contract on Chuluota Road in east Orange.
Founded in 1985, JDA operates in multifamily, industrial and self-storage arenas. The company sold the bulk of its self-storage portfolio of 32 properties in 2016 and launched a rapid roll-out of new facilities with an emphasis on Florida. The company has 15 new facilities in the pipeline this year in Orlando, Tampa and Southwest Florida.
"The purpose of the sale was to separate the older product from what we’re developing currently, which is 100-percent Class A product," Sucher said. "It’s a newer and nicer facility."
But after the big 2017 push, JDA will take a less aggressive approach in Florida. "We’re very focused on understanding what the supply is today and potential moving forward," Sucher said. "We feel there’s been a huge rush to market, and we’re tempering our goals. One reason is we attempt to not compete with ourselves."
The other big concern is oversupply in the market. Sucher said some areas still need a few more years of growth to build up demand. "We are definitely focused on supply. There’s tremendous growth in the state, but some areas are not quite there yet."