As many as four new restaurants plus additional retail space are coming to the Heathrow commercial and residential center in Lake Mary.
Pelloni Development Corp. submitted site plans last week for 14,000 square feet of in line retail/restaurant space, plus two outparcels of 4,433- and 1,933 square feet, which will probably house restaurants, according to Bart Pelloni, vice president of the company.
The retail/restaurant development will be on 8.1 acres on the northeast corner of Heathrow Park Lane and International Parkway. The development is near the $50 million Verizon Communications accounting and finance hub and Central Parc at Heathrow mixed-use office and retail center.
Pelloni Development built two other retail products, Park Place and the Shops at Oakmonte, within a mile of the proposed retail and restaurant center. The new development does not yet have a name, Pelloni said.
Developers of retail and restaurant centers calculate both weekday and weekend customer flow in deciding the value of a location, Pelloni said. The location in Heathrow has both.
“I do believe there will be good pedestrian flow because of the neighboring (Verizon) Class A office building,” he said. “The good news is we’re still within a mile of the entrance to the Heathrow residential development with its 2,400 homes.”
The development company was considering building a three-story office building with a 20,000-square-foot footprint on the site, Pelloni said. But when the Pellonis studied the surrounding area, they discovered retail space on the west side of Interstate 4 was nearly 100 percent occupied.
“As we did our market study, it appeared that retail would be the highest and best use of the parcel,” Pelloni said. “The cost of building a new office building would be harder to justify. The retail is the more obvious need.”
Pelloni’s market assessment was confirmed by Miguel de Arcos, managing director of SVN Florida. De Arcos said retail space at his nearby Central Parc at Heathrow development has been fully occupied since November. The most recent tenant, Starbucks, opened March 2.
Lake Mary is becoming an economic hotspot, de Arcos said, citing the opening several years ago of the Verizon building, creating 1,000 new jobs, and the more recent opening of a Deloitte Consulting tech center, which also promises 1,000 jobs by 2018.
And existing companies are adding employees, de Arcos said, so much so that surrounding retail developments are providing additional parking to the office buildings. In fact, the Pellonis plan to rent out space for Verizon employees to park at their yet-to-be-named center.
The Pelloni project is still in the earliest permitting stage and Pelloni said he could not put a price on developing the property. He estimated the buildings will be finished and ready for tenants by the third quarter of 2017.
Mike Salinaro can be reached at email@example.com.