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Apopka gun store and firing range owner lines up property for expansion

Apopka gun store and firing range owner lines up property for expansion
Highlighted in blue is the roughly 5 acres in Apopka now owned and occupied by Shoot Straight, and outlined in red is the 6.41-acre parcel targeted for acquisition, and expansion of the company's warehouse. (Orange County Property Appraiser)

Apopka-based gun store chain Shoot Straight plans to invest up to $4 million next year to double the size of a local warehouse that supplies its stores statewide, with land under contract and a rezoning request under city review, the company's owner told GrowthSpotter.

Considered the state's largest firearms retailer with nine stores and indoor firing ranges, Shoot Straight also owns Florida's largest gun show promoter, Suncoast Gun Shows.

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Its base is a store, range and warehouse in Apopka set on just over 5 acres at 1349 S. Orange Blossom Trail, northwest of the intersection with N. Hiawassee Road.

"That warehouse in Apopka is simply no longer enough space to supply the growth of our nine stores and gun show operations," owner Khaled Akkawi said Monday. "Our options to expand have been limited until now, with this opportunity."

Akkawi now has his sights set on a 6.4-acre parcel (3.8 acres developable) directly east at 1351 Tropicana Circle, occupied by the Tropicana Mobile Home Park and owned by a family trust run by Marshall W. Howard.

Both properties are surrounded mostly by undeveloped land and small lakes.

Akkawi said he plans to build another 40,000-50,000 square feet of warehouse space for weapons storage on that property, for which he'll pay $750,000 and acquire in March. Construction of the building should follow immediately after and approach $4 million, he added.

Akkawi is seeking to change the future land use in Apopka's Comprehensive Plan on the Howard property from residential to C-1 (Retail Commercial), and rezone the property to C-1.

Akkawi's requests are scheduled to be heard Monday evening by Apopka's Planning Commission. Staff have recommended approval of the FLUM change and rezoning.

Akkawi did not reference a civil engineer or architect he is currently working with on the future warehouse development plan.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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