Orlando-based Boyland Auto Group paid nearly $13.15 million on Friday for 23 acres southwest of the Mall at Millenia, with plans to relocate its Mercedes-Benz of South Orlando auto dealership and later sell that company's prime mall frontage, the company's CEO told GrowthSpotter.
Located east of the intersection of Interstate 4 and the Florida Turnpike, the new property has access off Millenia Boulevard, lies directly across from Nova Southeastern University and is roughly 1 mile southwest of the Mercedes-Benz dealership at 4301 Millenia Blvd.
"We've outgrown our site, and found this opportunity to increase our sales building footprint by an additional 25,000 square feet and add 400 parking spots," said Dorian S. Boyland, a 30-year veteran of the auto industry who played infield for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the late 1970s. "The sellers had some buyers before us that were in the car business and had this (approved by the city) already for our desired use, but the (other buyers) fell through."
Built and opened in 2004, Boyland's current Mercedes-Benz dealership across from Millenia has about 45,000 square feet and 500 parking spaces, with 22 service stalls. Conceptual plans for the new property are for close to 80,000 square feet under roof, 900 parking spots and more than 40 service stalls.
Boyland's Benz dealership is currently renting off-site parking for its employees, a cost it can eliminate with the new, larger site. It is also being granted franchises from Mercedes to sell Sprinter full-size commercial vans and AMG high-performance vehicles out of the future store, he added.
"We're in the process now of working with architects Praxis3, which designed our first building," Boyland said. "Once we get further along we'll submit plans to the city. We also have extra acreage on this site we have to consider what we'll do with."
About 13 acres of the roughly 24 gross acres acquired may be developable, Boyland said. Of that, his group may use 60 percent for the new dealership, and find other uses for the rest.
"This land gives us room for surface parking, but our early plans call for structured parking to get visibility off the freeway and turnpike," said Boyland, who is working with RLH Construction.
His goal is to have plans under review by the city before year's end, potentially start site work this year, and begin vertical construction on the dealership in 2018. Early estimates put total development cost near $24 million.
As for the existing dealership, its 7.34 acres fronting an I-4 exit ramp and the mall should make it attractive to prospective buyers next year, Boyland said.
"I think it's one of the most visible pieces of property on this side of town, and with the mall it has endless possibilities," he said. "I'm probably going to sell it for another use. I think the best and highest value use will come from high-end hotel or retail on that site."
Sellers of the new dealership location were an affiliate of GSSW Real Estate Investments out of Dallas and Radebaugh Properties, Inc., of Nashville.
Boyland's expansion plans for Mercedes-Benz are the latest in a run of new luxury auto dealers investing around the Mall at Millenia and its stretch of I-4.
Orlando Infiniti just north of the mall filed plans in February to add a four-level parking garage to its site. Site work is underway for a new Porsche South Orlando and Ferrari-Maserati of Central Florida on Vineland Road directly west of the mall, and construction is more than 50 percent complete on the new Lexus of Orlando dealerhship on Major Boulevard, just southwest of the Millenia corridor.