Two former high school teachers are preparing to redevelop a downtown Orlando lot for the area's first permanent daily food truck park.
To be located at 615 Irvington Ave., a block southwest of the E. Colonial Drive and Maguire Road intersection, the 0.32-acre parcel was previously home to a single-story office that was demolished this week.
Dustin and April Williams, founders of A La Cart LLC, paid $350,000 for the site in December and filed an Administrative Master Plan request this month with the city to establish a new food truck park.
"The two of us grew up in Central Florida, have been traveling quite a bit over the past decade, and recently lived in the Pacific Northwest," Dustin Williams told GrowthSpotter on Friday. "We saw this concept out there and fell in love with it. We'd go to these food cart lots quite a bit, loved the variety of food available, and that it had a more open community atmosphere compared to your typical sit-down restaurant."
Greater Orlando has many food truck meetup events that are scheduled on a weekly or monthly basis, but none offer the consistency and infrastructure that Williams' daily food truck lot has planned.
"We'll be able to fit five food truck pads on site, our trucks will be there on a rotating basis with leases, and you can expect to come here and have service every day for lunch and dinner hours," Williams said. "Another advantage compared to a meetup location is this site will have electrical, water and sewer hookups for the trucks, so they won't have to use generators."
Plans call for a new one-story, 1,242-square-foot pavilion building on the site that fronts Irvington Avenue, with the venue branded as "A La Cart: Street Food & Craft Beer." Seating is planned for up to 60 people, and vendor space will be dedicated for craft beer, wine and cold-brewed coffee.
"We're going for the nicest park (dining) atmosphere you've ever had with this," he said.
Construction costs for the pavilion and lot infrastructure is estimated near $450,000, said Williams, who cited family equity and a commercial loan as funding sources.
The property is zoned AC-3 commercial, so rezoning won't be necessary. The former 62-year-old office building on site was in disrepair, so Williams is confident the city will see his food truck lot project as an improvement for the area.
With the MP under city staff review and construction plans to follow, Williams anticipates a quick construction timeline due to the basic building structure and an opening by July.
Klima Weeks is civil engineer and Michael Wenrich is the architect. No general contractor has been signed yet, but Williams said a recommendation will likely be sought through a local family member in residential construction.