The owner of a distressed shopping center next to the new Tupperware SunRail station in Kissimmee has filed plans for a two-phased retail expansion that would add 43,000 square feet of leasable space.
Louisiana-based PMAT purchased the Gateway Station shopping center just off the Osceola Parkway - Florida Turnpike interchange a year ago for $10.65 million. The sale did not include the Walmart Supercenter that anchors the shopping center or any of the outparcels -- but it did include 3.5 acres of land for future expansion.
The 86,500-square-foot shopping center was considered an underperforming asset in one of Greater Orlando's strongest retail submarkets. Tenants include Harbor Freight Tools, Dollar Tree and Buffalo Wild Wings.
"Kissimmee has always been a pretty strong market dominated by the intersection with The Loop and The Loop West," PMAT President Kevin Kush told GrowthSpotter on Wednesday. The company is looking to capitalize on Gateway's high traffic counts and the new development on Osceola Parkway by giving the shopping center a fresh look.
"In conjunction with our site being bound on one side by the Florida Turnpike and SunRail on the other side, that should make this one of the highest traffic sites in this market," he said. "It's our job to capture the traffic that's coming to this area by providing an attractive center and site with a complimentary mix of retail goods and services."
PMAT's investment strategy is to acquire value-add shopping centers and create long-term value through redevelopment and re-tenanting of the assets.
Kush said PMAT would spend "several million dollars" renovating and expanding the shopping center. That includes a complete overhaul of the landscaping and all new signage. The goal is to give the shopping center a more unified look that can compete with newer centers, such as Crosslands.
"Our site has been a little overgrown and overlooked," he said. The new plan will be "a substantial upgrade" that will increase the visibility and create a "grand entrance."
PMAT and Gulf States Construction Services are seeking a new Planned Unit Development for the shopping center. The first phase would comprise 19,000 square feet for a single, built-to-suit tenant. Phase 2 would include three more retail sites and would connect the expansion to the existing shopping center.
Kush declined to reveal the name of the new mini-box tenant. "I can say what we have lined up now is a name-brand tenant that currently is not serving the area. So we'll be bringing new blood to this market," he said.
Hanson Walter & Associates is the civil engineer.
SunRail's Osceola County extension has sparked hundreds of millions of dollars in new investment around the future stations. Tupperware Brands is currently rebuilding Orange Avenue, and in April Orlando Health announced plans for a new $32 million free-standing emergency room and medical pavilion on Osceola Parkway, across from the Tupperware SunRail station that opens in 2018.
The medical facility is part of a burgeoning transit-oriented district shaping up around the SunRail station. Other new projects include a 350-unit apartment complex right across from the station, a new multi-story mixed-use building on the south side of Osceola Parkway, and a $30 million assisted living facility by Providence One.
Kush said PMAT hopes to create pedestrian access between Gateway and the SunRail station.
"We're still researching exactly how a connected access might be able to function," he said. "What they have now is a sidewalk that goes to the end of their property and ends."