UPDATED: February 22, 2018 1:30 PM — Tampa-based U-Haul Co. of Florida paid $6.5 million on Tuesday for one of the largest retail properties on Kissimmee's tourism corridor, with plans to convert the buildings into a self storage facility.
The Main Gate West Flea Market, located at 8546 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, was built in 2013 and features two buildings with 96,300 square feet of conditioned area over five acres.
Local SVN senior advisors Ali Mushtaq and T.C. Chen represented the seller, while SVN Pinnacle's Loraine Rahm in Philadelphia delivered the buyer. The property was under contract within two months of its listing in September.
The seller was longtime Kissimmee hotelier and property investor Johnson Young, who in the past three months has also divested himself of two hotel properties on W192.
"Mr. Young is in retirement, liquidating his assets and doing 1031 exchanges to reinvest strategically," Mushtaq told GrowthSpotter.
U-Haul plans to convert the buildings to a climate-controlled self storage facility with rental services. Zoning on the property is industrial and offers the entitlements needed for the conversion. A construction permit has yet to be filed as of this week.
U-Haul was drawn to invest in Kissimmee's W192 tourism corridor by the growth in tourism and population numbers, and new commercial and residential development. The new self storage plans follow another local investor's plans in January to build a storage facility behind his former W192 motel.
U-Haul now owns and operates more tahn 50 million square feet of self storage space across North America.
Population growth is propelling Orlando's self storage market, which was the 15th fastest growing metro area in the United States through 2016, according to annual U.S. Census data released last year.
Orange County drew more new residents than any Florida county, and the area improved its rank to no. 23 nationally among most populous metros, which includes Kissimmee and Sanford.