Orlando-based development company Intram Investments wants to build a new shopping center in Polk County’s growing Four Corners market.
Plans for a convenience store, car wash, two drive-through restaurants and about 20,000 square feet of retail space are in the works but could look very different once construction begins, Intram executive vice president Randy Hodge told GrowthSpotter.
“It could end up moving in a couple of different directions over the next couple of months,” depending on the retail market and leases that haven’t been finalized yet, Hodge said.
“Everybody’s been just dealing with trying to get their stores open and dealing with rents. I don’t know if we know that answer for retail going forward.”
The proposed shopping center will be located on U.S. Highway 27 and Sand Mine Road in Davenport. Intram bought 12.93 acres last fall for $3 million, according to county property records.
In addition to retail on the west side of the property, Intram may build multi-family homes on the east side of the property, Intram special projects manager Kelly Froelich told the Polk County Development Review Committee on May 21.
“We like that area,” Hodge said. “The road network is going to be improved and there is more residential going in. The county has a number of plans to extend the road network and connect to 192. There are a lot of plans. Whether any of that has slowed down as a result of where we’ve been over the last couple of months, that’s the story. It’s kind of an unknown now what this means to the retail market.”
Intram also is developing Posner Village in Polk County, about 5 miles south of this new project.
Intram opened Phase 1 of Posner Village retail center last year and is marketing Phase 2, which is slated for 93,000 square feet of retail uses.
“It’s an area where we’ve done business in that Highway 27 corridor for a number of years,” Hodge said.
A site plan for the Sand Mine Road project by engineer Kimley-Horn Associates shows a convenience story with a Starbucks in an outparcel, a Twistee Treat and a one-story retail strip with 8,494 square feet of space.
“It’s all preliminary – those are conceptual,” Hodge said. “We haven’t finalized our leasing for the project at this juncture.”
Construction wouldn’t begin sooner than 90 days, he said.
There is residential growth to support more retail in the area along U.S. 27 and Interstate 4 on the outskirts of Orlando and Kissimmee, Hodge said. Among them is Pulte Homes’ project known as Windsor Island Resort, where more than 600 units are planned in two phases to the east of Sand Mine Road.
Questions remain surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and how it will affect the retail market, Hodge said.
“Everybody has been predicting the demise of brick and mortar retail for some time and this maybe is going to be the thing that does cause it,” he said. “There are just going to be less retailers out there coming out the other side of this when the economy returns.”
As for future deals, Hodge said, “We’re just trying to navigate the environment over the next couple of months. That will determine whether there are real estate deals to be had.”