A pair of local Vietnamese-American business owners and property investors are planning a new multi-tenant retail strip center in downtown Orlando's "Little Saigon" neighborhood.
Located at 1010-1022 E. Colonial Dr., the 0.57-acre vacant site lies a block west of Mills Avenue, and directly south of the building that now features Lazy Moon Pizza and Lineage Coffee on the ground floor. That stretch of E. Colonial averages 45,500 vehicle trips per day, according to the Florida Department of Transportation.
A World of Beauty Academy sign advertising "Coming Soon" for the business has been posted on the lot for much of the past two years, forecasting a relocation of that business from W. Colonial Drive. Investors Huong and Quang Nguyen bought the land in 2015 for $500,000.
But new plans filed with the city now show a one-story, 10,648-square-foot multi-tenant retail/commercial building with up to six spaces, and an eastern end-cap with a drive-thru lane.
Construction plans for the building have been filed and are under city staff review, said Dominic Sandori, president of Gyno-1 Commercial Contractors, who is general contractor for the land owner. He declined to estimate a project timeline moving forward.
The Nguyens could not be reached for comment on Thursday. They have an ownership stake in another local trade school, the Academy of Health & Beauty.
A representative with that school said Thursday the new Colonial Drive strip center project is already fully pre-leased, but declined to confirm tenants or offer further detail.
A Conditional Use Permit request and plans for the property should go before Orlando's Municipal Planning Board in April for review.
If the property is finally developed, one vacant lot would remain directly to the east.
That separately owned 0.38 acres would be the last vacant parcel in the 10-block stretch of E. Colonial Drive that has come to be known as Little Saigon, a moniker that took root after thousands of Vietnamese war refugees fled their country in the 1970s and settled in Orlando, then opened a cluster of new businesses there.