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GPK Holdings lands purchase contract agreement for development site in Ocoee

The 18-acre site is located on the northeast corner of Ocoee-Apopka Road and Fullers Cross Road, just south of S.R. 429.
The 18-acre site is located on the northeast corner of Ocoee-Apopka Road and Fullers Cross Road, just south of S.R. 429. (Orange County Property Appraiser)

Orlando-based GPK Holdings is expanding its footprint in Ocoee.

Late last week, city commissioners unanimously voted to move forward with a purchase-contract agreement between the city and the real estate company to buy and develop a nearly 18-acre vacant site on the northeast corner of Ocoee-Apopka Road and Fullers Cross Road, just south of S.R. 429.

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The project would be the developer’s second public-private partnership venture with the city in recent months.

In August, GPK’s unsolicited offer to buy and develop a half-acre lot in Ocoee’s downtown also won City Commission approval. Plans for that specific property call for two, three-story buildings that will feature about 40,000 square feet of ground-floor retail along N. Bluford Avenue, as well as 34 residential units.

An Orlando-based developer made an unsolicited offer to build a mixed-use project in downtown Ocoee after the first contract fell through.

In the case of the Ocoee-Apopka Road site, the developer submitted a formal bid in response to a Request for Proposals (RFP) issued by the city earlier this year around the emergence of COVID-19 in Florida, when most of the state shut down. As a result, bid deadlines were pushed back and the schedule to approve the contract had fallen behind.

Records obtained by GrowthSpotter show big-league industrial developers like McCraney Property Company and Prologis each submitted a bid — but GPK placed the highest offer.

The real estate company is now locked into paying $3.56 million for the 18 acres of land, which is mostly woodlands. The proposal includes developing the site with a gas station, tractor dealership and flex office space.

At a City Commission meeting in August, GPK director Jeff Adelman told commissioners Kubota Tractor Corporation is interested in opening one of its retail locations at the site. Adelman was not immediately available to comment.

A public hearing regarding the contract is set to take place next Tuesday. Adelman is discussing an agreement to give the developer and partners Central Florida Land Brokers and Centerline Capital Advisors about a year to close on the property and have the necessary permits and final site plan approvals in place.

The joint partnership plans to develop about 189,000 square feet of industrial space on land directly off the Daniel Webster Western Beltway (S.R. 429).

The purchase price falls in line with what similar sites around the area have been trading for.

Just last week, Orlando-based real estate firm Cadence Partners LLC paid $3.66 million for an 18-acre site at 2550 Ocoee Apopka Road, where it plans to build about 189,000 square feet of industrial space across two buildings.

Both properties are near S.R. 429, which stretches around the western Orlando metropolitan area between I-4 in northwest Osceola County and S.R. 46 at Mount Plymouth in Lake County.

The roadway passes through an enormous amount of new development, either recently completed or being planned, between Orange County’s Horizon West community and Mount Dora’s Wolf Branch Innovation District, which was activated, in part by the construction of S.R. 453 (Wekiva Parkway/S.R. 429) and expansion of S.R. 46.

A new interchange at Kelly Park Road, one of four interchanges that opened in 2018 as part of the $1.6 billion 25-mile Wekiva Parkway project, is also drawing new development, including a new medical campus owned by Orlando Health and several residential communities.

Companies such as e-commerce giant Amazon, Goya Foods, Universal Studios Orlando and Coca-Cola Co. are also entering Orange County’s northwest corridor with plans to build or lease distribution centers in Apopka.

The growth happening west of Orange County can also be seen in the numbe of residences being planned.

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Developers active in the area include Richard Wohlfarth of Wohlfarth Consulting Group, who is developing roughly 70 vacant acres in the city into a bustling master-planned community equipped with apartments, townhomes and more than 150,000 square feet of commercial space.

Other homebuilders active in Ocoee include Mattamy Homes, which is developing its 303-lot Preserve at Crown Point gated community, and Lennar Homes, which continues to expand its Arden Park North subdivision around Lake Sims.

The city’s population has nearly tripled since the initial City Hall was built in the mid-1990s from 17,000 residents to more than 50,000, according to the American Community Survey.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at arabines@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-5427, or tweet me at @amanda_rabines. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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