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The Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center is scheduled to open in 2017. It's the centerpiece of Osceola County's 500-acre Florida Tech Farm research park, and the county is looking for a developer to build 100,000 square feet of office space on the site.
The Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center is scheduled to open in 2017. It's the centerpiece of Osceola County's 500-acre Florida Tech Farm research park, and the county is looking for a developer to build 100,000 square feet of office space on the site. (Osceola County)

Osceola County is putting the final touches on a request for letters of interest (RFLOI) for developers to build a four-story, Class A office building next door to the $250 million  Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center, which opens in early 2017.

County Manager Don Fisher told GrowthSpotter on Thursday the RFLOI will be posted this Sunday for a 100,000-square-foot office building, which will serve as headquarters for the International Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Research (ICAMR) and imec's North American headquarters and nanotechnology design center.

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"We're going to provide the land," Fisher said. "It will be a pad-ready site, and we already have commitments for 50 percent of the leasable space. It would be on the same 20 acres (as the FAMRC), but it will be deeded over to the developer."

This artist rendering shows the FAMRC, which represents a $250 million public investment by the county, ICAMR and UCF.  ICAMR and imec USA would move their headquarters into the neighboring office building.
This artist rendering shows the FAMRC, which represents a $250 million public investment by the county, ICAMR and UCF.  ICAMR and imec USA would move their headquarters into the neighboring office building. (Osceola County)

The LOI due date is Nov. 22. Fisher said his plan is to make a selection from the LOI process rather than moving forward with a formal requests for proposals. The goal is to have the building completed within 18 months.

The imec partnership, announced in July, is expected to pay huge dividends by drawing global tech leaders to the Kissimmee campus. The firm is committed to hiring 10 researchers by the end of the year and 100 within five years.

"They're hiring folks and staffing up," Fisher said. "It's exciting, and it's good for Central Florida."

Osceola County officials confirm that Belgian tech firm imec has signed on to lead the county's nanoelectronics design center.

In addition to providing up to 2 acres of land, the county will construct 120 of the 350 required parking spaces for the office building. The county also will build the entrance road and stormwater system. The developer will own and manage the office building, which should have at least 80 percent net leasable space.

"We're going to make this as commercially viable as we can for a developer," Fisher said.

Procurement Director Rebecca Jones said there won't be a pre-submittal conference.

Each respondent will be required to provide a thorough review of all team members and subcontractors, a project schedule and a conceptual rendering. The package should also contain a leasing strategy, financials and portfolio of at least 10 past projects.

The proposals will be ranked based on their experience, workload, expected completion date, and tenant costs, including respondent's proposed triple net lease rate and fit-up fees.

Perkins+Will is drafting a master plan for the research park, which will surround a 130-acre lake. A former sod and dairy farm, the park is expected to evolve into a mix of high-tech research facilities, light manufacturing, and offices with a blend of residential, retail, restaurants, and hotels.

Fisher said the county has offered 50 acres of prime real estate in the research park for free, as part of its application to land a five-year, $70 million manufacturing innovation grant.

The county and ICAMR are a finalist for the grant program administered by the U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology. A NIST spokeswoman said the grant winners would be announced in January.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407)420-6261, or tweet me at @LKinslerOGrowth. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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