City Furniture has yet to hire a commercial broker to market space in its future Altamonte Springs office building, and is negotiating sites for two more stores in Kissimmee and Central Orlando, the company's president told GrowthSpotter.
The company paid $4.9 million on Friday for 7.48 acres in Altamonte Springs fronting Interstate 4, with plans to build a 109,500-square-foot retail showroom as its first Orlando-area location, and a neighboring 27,300-square-foot office building.
"We're planning three big stores for Orlando, and the Altamonte Springs and I-4 site is wonderful in part because pretty much all the furniture retailers in the market are on S.R. 436, so we think we'll have an attractive position with close to 200,000 cars passing daily (on I-4)," said Keith Koenig on Monday.
The retailer is still working through replat and site plan approvals with Altamonte Springs city staff, with construction permit applications to follow. Koenig said the project would take 12 months to build, and is still "several months away" from breaking ground.
The Altamonte Springs store will be a "next-gen format" that incorporates all the latest innovations from the retail furniture world, along with a host of firsts for City Furniture, Koenig said.
"We want this store to become a one-stop solution for customers. One example is that we'll be going after home accents in a bigger way than any furniture store has in the past," he said. "We'll also be on the forefront of experiential trending for retail."
Koenig said the company's research shows e-commerce will continue to absorb market share for home furnishing sales, but believes most Millenials want to touch their furniture before committing.
"That's why our store will be two to three times the size of any furniture store in Orlando," he said. "It will be a bigger selection and offer a very unique level of hospitality."
City Furniture's stores today have a cafe inside that serve free iced tea and cookies, and sell Seattle's Best gourmet coffee. The new Altamonte Springs location will add a wine bar to the mix, and offer happy hour specials every night, Koenig said.
Total investment in the Altamonte Springs development should be "well north of $20 million," Koenig said. The company has yet to choose a real estate broker to market the office building for pre-lease.
A general contractor for the project has also yet to be signed, but will likely be Fort Lauderdale-based Miller Construction, one of two GCs from South Florida the company has used to build its 16 locations in the state, Koenig said.
Running concurrently with the Altamonte Springs development, City Furniture is negotiating land deals in Kissimmee and near Orlando's Mall at Millenia, one of which will have a store that includes a distribution center to serve the region, Koenig said.
Koenig said the second local store location is tenatively set for a portion of developer Courtelis Company's new 50-acre retail center across Osceola Parkway from The LOOP.
That project's site plan included a home furniture showroom and distribution center totaling 220,000 square feet, GrowthSpotterfirst reported last August.
City Furniture met with Kissimmee officials in late 2015 to discuss building a distribution hub at the site. Koenig acknowledged a working agreement with Courtelis on Monday, and said the development is still under review by Kissimmee staff.
UP Development sold its partnership stake this week for roughly $25 million in The Shoppes at Alafaya Trail in Waterford Lakes, paying off debt it had shouldered to develop the property, and now has another 23 acres under contract.
The third local store site could be one directly west of the Mall at Millenia in Orlando. Koenig said City Furniture is negotiating with UP Development for a portion of the 23 acres it bought last February south of the Audi South Orlando dealership, in the 4800 block of Vineland Road.
Ten of those acres were sold by UP last February to an affiliate of Ferrari/Maserati of Central Florida, and another 3 acres are expected to be sold and developed as a Porsche South Orlando dealership.
"We're negotiating at this point with Scott Fish, no contract has been reached, but we're hopeful to do business with him for that site (west of) Millenia," Koenig said.