The Dallas-based investment firm that paid $43 million last year for the Tupperware World Headquarters in Kissimmee is planning to add apartments to the corporate campus.
Spirit Realty is seeking a replat of the 60-acre campus on Orange Blossom Trail, just south of the Orange County line, to carve out two lots specifically for the new residential development. Lot 4 would run along the northern boundary of the property south of Mary Louis Lane on what is now mostly employee parking and open space. Lot 3 comprises a 9.4-acre wetland area south of the buildings that house the Tupperware employee fitness center, additional offices and a design studio.
Spirit also filed construction documents with the South Florida Water Management District calling for a total of 348 residential units on the two parcels with a shared clubhouse and pool amenity. The plan shows three building types including 24, 40 and 4 units. An existing drainage pond near the new north-south spine road would be filled in and relocated a bit to the east, closer to the corporate offices.
Thomas Roehlk, a former vice president with Tupperware who retired in December, said company executives understood that new development could take place on the campus when they agreed to sell off their land holdings in 2020 to longtime development partner O’Connor Capital Partners. The replat has been in the works for the last two years, he said.
“At the time we did the deal with O’Connor Capital, we knew they would develop it differently than we would have,” Roehlk added. “We would have tried to attract more corporate offices. Once Tupperware was out of the picture, we had no control over what they could do.”
Given the appetite for multifamily development sites around the Tupperware SunRail station, it wasn’t a surprise Spirit moved in another direction. “They’re following the market,” Roehlk said. “The multifamily market there is red-hot.”
The Osceola Corporate Center Planned Development is already home to two completed apartment communities: San Mateo Crossings, which traded for $62 million in 2021, and 19 South, which was completed this year.
Three more Transit Oriented Development projects are in the pipeline. Miami-based Waterstone Capital bought 16.5 acres northwest of the SunRail Station in 2021 and plans to build 448 transit-oriented apartments. Fore Property Co., which developed 19 South, is under contract for the TOD parcels south of the station that have entitlements for high-density residential, retail and office uses.
Altman Companies, based in Boca Raton, is under contract for 36.7 acres on Orange Blossom Trail immediately south of the Tupperware World Headquarters. The firm is planning a pair of communities with a combined 644 units, developed over two phases. Like the Spirit property, this site has significant wetlands that would have to be mitigated before construction could commence on the second phase.
Spirit officials could not be reached to comment on the project, but CEO Jackson Hsieh discussed the acquisition during an earnings call in the summer of 2021. He said even though professional offices make up just 2.5% of the company’s portfolio, they were drawn to the Tupperware investment because of the company’s $2 billion per year revenue stream and the leadership team that assumed control in 2020.
“We also really like the real estate opportunity,” he told investors, adding that Chief Investment Officer Ken Heimlich knew the asset well. “It’s a campus opportunity. It’s located right on a rail system — the SunRail system — so its proximity to transportation is excellent. We like the fact that it’s in a very strong submarket within that Orlando market. And it’s got unique building features related to what Tupperware does. There’s some research and development facilities in there, and it’s also got a very good rent per square foot on a long-term lease. So it had a lot of characteristics that made us feel like it’s a very sticky opportunity — with good credit in the right industry, going in the right direction. And most importantly, that if we had to retenant it, we feel confident about that given the submarket.”