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Developer revives expansion plans for Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores

Developer revives expansion plans for Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores
This drawing shows a preliminary site plan for the Isles of Buena Vista, a 110,000-square-foot commercial retail center planned for Orlando's tourism corridor on SR 535. (Ecological Consulting Solutions)

A long-awaited expansion of the Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores retail outlet on Orlando's tourism corridor may be finally coming to fruition.

Countyline Properties LLC, an affiliate of the shopping center's owner, developer and manager, Sutton Properties of St. Petersburg, has submitted documents to the South Florida Water Management District showing a commercial retail development called Isles of Buena Vista, Phase 2. The development is planned for 11 vacant acres on SR 535, just south of and adjacent to the factory stores.

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The new plans show 30 retail units totaling more than 110,000 square feet of space, plus an additional 4,204 square feet for restrooms and storage, according to drawings filed with Orange County's Environmental Protection Division.

Countyline, led by Samuel and Robert Sutton, first announced the expansion in April 2015. Company president Samuel Sutton told GrowthSpotter in May that the developer was pursuing a loan for the $22 million project, and that construction was on pace to start in the third quarter of 2015.

"Our expansion plans are delayed given the slowdown in leasing activity in the outlet industry in general," Samuel Sutton said via e-mail on Wednesday. "While we haven't yet set a date for groundbreaking, our expansion is going to move forward when the timing is right for us."

The Suttons bought the Isles of Buena Vista property in November 2012 for $1.1 million. The proposed construction site is in unincorporated Orange County, on an adjacent tract to the existing 238,000-square-foot shopping center on SR 535, which lies off I-4's exit 68.

In addition to the factory stores outlet, the Suttons also developed the nearby Lake Buena Vista Resort Village and Spa. The brothers each have more than 30 years of experience in developing and managing residential and commercial real estate projects in Florida and Texas, according to the resort's website.

Engineering consultants on the project are Poulos & Bennett of Orlando; architects are Cuhaci & Peterson Architects also of Orlando; and environmental consultants are Ecological Consulting Solutions of Longwood.

Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores opened in 1996 and was one of Central Florida's first outlet centers. The center's 50 stores sell such brands as Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Nike, Gap, Ann Taylor and Guess. When he announced the planned expansion of the 238,000-square-foot retail center, Samuel Sutton said all the existing stores would remain open during construction of the adjacent development.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at msalinero@outlook.com. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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