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Intram Investments buys development site north of Universal Orlando’s planned Epic Universe theme park

An aerial of the property acquired by Intram Investments.
An aerial of the property acquired by Intram Investments. (Intram Investments)

Orlando-based Intram Investments just bought a shopping center and potential development site north of Universal Orlando’s planned Epic Universe theme park.

According to a deed recently recorded in Orange County, the company paid $22.75 million for an 18-acre site that includes the 122,585-square-foot International Festival shopping center and about seven acres of vacant land along S. Kirkman Road.

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The undeveloped parcels, zoned AC-3/SP, feature the potential to develop up to 77,000 square feet of additional retail space or up to 200 multifamily units or hotel units per the acre.

The seller bought the property about seven years after Universal Studios in Orlando opened in 1990. Today, the hotel stands to benefit off its location on Kirkman Road, which is being extended to pass through Universal Orlando’s planned Epic Universe theme park.

The developer could also exercise the option to tear down the shopping center and redevelop the entire property, which would require bringing the onsite stormwater retention up to current standards.

Randy Hodge, executive vice president at Intram, told GrowthSpotter the firm is excited about the location, but hasn’t finalized plans for development of the vacant parcels or potential renovation of the shopping plaza it’s renaming Olinda Center.

“It is a tremendous opportunity given the extension of Kirkman Road, the new Universal theme park and the ongoing redevelopment of north International Drive,” Hodge said. “We see this corner as the keystone to the north International Drive market.”

Robert E. Smith, of Smith Equities Real Estate Investment Advisors, represented the seller, Group Kirkman LLC.

The company is tied to investors Fred Chikovsky, James Shapiro and Carole Diamond. Records show the entity bought the site in 2009 for $5 million.

Current tenants include Casa Furniture, Outer Limitz Arena and Lagoinha Orlando Church. Hodge said the shopping center sold about 70 percent occupied.

The property sits along Kirkman Road, which is undergoing an extension that was voted by Orange County Commissioners in December to stretch 1.7 miles from Sand Lake Road to Universal Boulevard, next to Universal Orlando’s planned Epic Universe theme park.

The Kirkman Road extension is slated to cost about $250 million to just over $315 million to build.

To its north, Bainbridge Companies has a purchase contract on the former Mystery Fun House site near Universal Studios at 5767 Major Blvd. with plans to build a 397-unit luxury multifamily community.

Intram Investments, founded in 1991 by Rashid Kathib, is a real estate development and restaurant investment company with several active developments throughout Central Florida.

Its Sunrise City mixed-use project in Kissimmee’s tourism corridor spans about 238 acres, east of the intersection at W. Osceola Parkway and S.R. 535. Last year, the company sold land to three different multifamily developers that are currently building a combined 1,100 luxury units in the community. The first apartment project, built by Integra Land Company, was completed in 2019 and just sold for $67 million.

Hodge said the company recently broke ground on a 22,000 square feet of new retail center as part of the second phase of Sunrise City.

The firm is also developing Posner Village in Polk County. In Orange County it owns about 80 acres of vacant land at the International Drive and Central Florida Greeneway interchange. No developments plans have been filed yet, but are in the works according to Hodge.

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One of its more notable projects is the Plaza Venezia shopping center on Sand Lake Road, which is home to Orlando’s Restaurant Row.

This article has been updated with comments from the developer.

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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