Maitland-based Equinox Development Properties, in partnership with a private equity group partner, EQX Retail Fund II LLC, recently bought two parcels equaling 2.5 acres at the corner of Aloma and Mitchell Hammock Road in June for $2 million and plans to close on 18 adjacent acres near the end of the third quarter, said Trey Vick, president of Equinox Development Properties. In total, the project will be about a $15 million investment.
The Valvoline on that corner will remain, but the adjacent gas station will be replaced by a Wawa, said Vick, whose company has bought 12 Wawa's in Central Florida. It also built the first Chuy's Tex-Mex restaurant in the area.
Bigger plans are in the works for the 18-acre adjacent parcel next door to Valvoline. Plans there call for a 12,000-square-foot retail building, two restaurant out-parcels, a free-standing 11,000 square-foot day care facility and three medical office buildings, each with 5,000 square feet.
Meanwhile, in Lake County, the fund bought Clermont Regional Shopping Center at another prominent corner at the NE intersection of State Road 50 and U.S. 27 in Clermont.
The center is 98 percent occupied with a Kmart (currently operating) in a 191,000-square-foot building and other tenants, including a Publix, PetSmart and Gold's Gym in another 100,000-square-foot building.
There are no plans to shake up the tenant lineup in the center, said Vick. The group is planning to give the 1994-built center a face lift with paint, cleaned up landscaping, and better signage.
"Our goal really is to repurpose and bring it back to what it was," Vick said.
EQX bought the center from a South Florida-based company that was somewhat worried about the future of Kmart as a tenant.
That doesn't worry Vick. Since Equinox is a developer, the space could be easily changed in-house for other tenants.
However, it was really the location that attracted Equinox.
"It's at an excellent location at S.R. 50 and US 27. That's Main and Main, said Vick.
Equinox is a partnership between Ryan Stahl, the company's CEO and founder, and Vick.
This is the second EQX Retail Fund partnership with Equinox Partners. Jim Gissy, long-time business associate of David Siegel and his Westgate Resorts, is the principal of EQX, Vick said.