A Brazilian developer is planning to build 108,000 square feet of flex office/warehouse space on U.S. 17-92 in Polk County.
Haroldo de Barros purchased the 12-acre acre parcel five years ago under his U.S. affiliate Danpol Development. He wants to develop the business park in two phases, with a small cafe and a 10-bay, 27,000-square-foot flex warehouse building in the first phase.
The second phase would include three more identical warehouse buildings.
"My target is going to be small flex space," de Barros told GrowthSpotter on Wednesday. "Here in Polk County, every warehouse is huge. Each of mine is 2,700 square feet."
He's scheduled to meet with Polk County's Development Review Committee for a Level 1 (pre-application) review next week. A key factor will be gaining approval from the county to develop the site with wells and septic. The closest water and sewer lines are about half a mile away at Providence, he said.
"Flex space doesn't use too much water," de Barros said.
He has engaged AVID Group as civil engineer and plans to construct the buildings himself. De Barros is even buying a light gauge steel framing machine so he can manufacture his own cold-pressed steel framing for the job.
The business park site was Danpol's first U.S. investment, but de Barros has several other real estate projects in the Four Corners submarket in various stages of permitting.
In March, he closed on a 7-acre site on C.R. 532 adjacent to Reunion Resort after successfully amending the land use and zoning in Osceola to Commercial Tourist. He worked with Brazilian architect José Santos Godinho to develop a conceptual plan that includes a 12-story hotel overlooking the Reunion golf course, a two-story office building and two retail/restaurant buildings.
He said the Reunion HOA has approved the concept, and he has a LOI from another Brazilian investor who wants to buy the project. The deal is on hold for now while everyone waits for the Central Florida Expressway Authority to complete its feasibility study of the Poinciana Parkway- I-4 connector.
Osceola-Polk Line Road (C.R. 532) is one of two potential routes for the new toll road, and if the route is selected, CFX might need additional right-of-way. A preliminary report is due in January.
Another Danpol affiliate owns a 14-acre site on C.R. 532 just east of Reunion. De Barros has a few conceptual plans for that site, including a 96-unit apartment complex and another for a commercial project with strip retail and a fuel station-convenience store combo. A prospective buyer is looking to develop a one-story self-storage facility on the site, he said.
The buyer is scheduled for a pre-application meeting with Osceola County staff in December. But de Barros rezoned the property in 2015 to Commercial Tourist, which specifically prohibits self-storage uses.