Minn.-based developer planning more retail & restaurants in Calypso Cay

Minnesota-based Ryan Companies is under contract to buy a 7.4-acre vacant lot in the Calypso Cay resort area and plans a mix of retail and restaurants there.

Two executives with Ryan's Southeast regional office in Tampa met Wednesday with Osceola County's planning staff to discuss potential site issues, zoning, access and signage.

The parcel is at the southwest corner of Calypso Cay Way and S.R. 535 (Vineland Road), immediately north of the Embassy Suites hotel, and across from Lennar's Storey Lake Resort. 

A conceptual site plan shows one 5,000-square-foot restaurant as well as a 4,373-square-foot QSR with drive-thru, and three retail buildings ranging in size from 7,000 square feet to 9,360 square feet. The plan leaves about 3 acres for future development.

Seth Swisher, vice president of Real Estate Development for Retail, said Ryan was drawn to the site because of the explosive growth in the immediate area -- particularly with Storey Lake and the new Publix-anchored Sunrise City Plaza.

"We haven't got to the point where we're talking to potential users," he told GrowthSpotter on Wednesday. "Right now, we're still fact-gathering to make sure we can do what we want to do."

It falls within the Calypso Cay Planned Development, so Community Development Program Manager Cori Carpenter said the project would have to meet specific architectural guidelines set out in the PD. 

Since the Florida Department of Transportation is currently studying a plan to widen S.R. 535 to six lanes, it's unlikely the department would grant a driveway cut for the project. Access would be from Calypso Cay Way and via the internal street network. 

Ryan is a full-service commercial real estate development firm with experience in office, retail, multifamily, mixed use, healthcare and hospitality markets.

Max Bosso leads the Southeast regional office in Tampa, which would manage the Orlando project. "We have 1,500 employees. We're the largest privately-owned construction company in the U.S.," he said. "Ryan has been doing retail for many, many years."

Ryan has developed and sold charter schools in the Greater Orlando market. Bosso said the decision to sell or hold the Calypso Cay asset wouldn't be made until the project is fully leased. The remaining three acres could be developed as part of a later phase or marketed for sale, he said.

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