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Developer in 'Heaven' over retail project, but muck a major issue

A longtime developer is betting that his planned "Heaven Plaza 4" retail center will replicate the success he has seen at three other flex-office developments that carry the Heaven name.

But the parcel, based at the intersection of Sand Lake Road and Presidents Drive, will take considerable work because of land conditions. Mud and gunk run as deep as 35 feet in some parts of the 4.2-acre property, said Brett Kingstone, chief executive of Max King Realty, the project's developer.

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"It's a nasty job," said Brock Evans, owner of Assured Excavating, the project's general contractor for earthwork and site development.

Kingstone paid just $250,000 to buy the site from Fifth Third Bank last March, property records show.

Kingstone said he expects to spend at least another $1 million or $1.25 million for land remediation "to clean up all of the muck."

Still, Kingstone calls the purchase a bargain. He expects to begin building by month's end, and finish the 50,000-square-foot center by December.

The project already has a commitment from 7-Eleven, which Kingstone said should help guarantee its success.

He is also talking with two restaurants and negotiating with retailers, including a mobile carrier. Kingstone declined to offer further specifics on retailer types.

Kingstone said governmental traffic studies he has viewed show 80,000 cars a day on that part of Sand Lake Road. The retail center will be located "at a premier corner on a major artery in southwest Orlando," he said.

The project's architect is Scott + Cormia.

Kingstone, who has been building in the Orlando area for more than 25 years, is already involved in Heaven Plaza 5. "I'm working on it now, and it's going to be good," he said, though declined to offer details on product type.

Kingstone said he uses the word Heaven "to reflect quality, service, caring and dedication to the tenants."

He began employing the nomenclature about 10 years ago with Heaven Plaza I, which consists of two, one-story office buildings at 8250 and 8256 Exchange Dr.

Kingstone paid $3.6 million for the 56,000-square-foot locations, where tenants now include Metro PCS, Geneline Bioscience and Schwenn Mechanical.

Heaven Plaza 2, at 240 Exchange Dr., has the headquarters of Max King Realty on its second floor, with the first floor used for corporate events and weddings.

Heaven Plaza 3, at 6925 Lake Eleanor Dr., is made up of six one-story buildings totaling 110,000 square feet.

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Kingstone said he bought the building two years ago for $2.6 million and it was 80 percent empty, but is now 92 percent leased.

DaVita kidney dialysis, Bostwick Laboratories and Brazilian real estate company DRIM Properties are among tenants.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at ktalley@growthspotter.com or (407) 420-5176. Follow GrowthSpotter on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

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