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Benge Development Corp. plans large commercial center across from Orlando-Apopka Airport

Benge Development Corp. is planning a large commercial plaza along U.S. 441.

Benge Development Corporation wants to transform a large chunk of land across from the Orlando-Apopka Aiport into a new commercial plaza.

President Tony Benge is working with the property owners of 40 acres along U.S. Highway 441 to develop a commercial center with more than 112,000 square feet of retail and office space.

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Currently, the site contains the New Vision Community Church and the International Seminary Bible college. Both will be relocated. Records show Tyler Crusades Inc. has owned most of the land (which is made of three parcels at 3803, 3927 and 4011 W. Orange Blossom Trail) since the 1980s.

“The site has great frontage and proximity to the new Amazon facility behind the airport,” Benge told GrowthSpotter. “Apopka has a huge void of quality commercial development and the access to S.R. 429 made this site very attractive.”

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According to a recently submitted Development Review Committee application, the property would need to be rezoned and the Future Land Use Map amended to feature commercial uses and a Regional Commercial District (C-R) zoning.

The zoning supports large-scale commercial development serving a 25-mile radius, along with some mixed-use and moderate density residential development. Allowed uses include retail services, offices, eating and drinking establishments, recreation/entertainment, moderate density stand-alone townhome and multifamily development, among others.

A conceptual site plan shows an 80,000-square-foot, big-box retailer, a 25,000-square-foot strip center and a separate 7,000-square-foot retail/office building. The proposed commercial plaza also features five retail outparcel opportunities, each spanning a little more than an acre.

Benge is working with GIA Consultants’ Community Solutions Group on the project.

Without disclosing the name of any tenants, Benge said he and his team “are working closely with the main anchor tenant “that will make this a marquee project.”

The planned commercial plaza is near another one of his projects in Apopka: Florida Town Center.

Benge is partnering with The Collier Companies to develop the 75-acre mixed-use Florida Town Center project around 3161 Southfork Drive, on the northwest corner of S.R. 429 and S.R. 441. Plans call for 300 multifamily units, an assisted living facility with up to 180 units, a 120-room hotel and over 200,000 square feet of commercial space.

He said the partners plan to break ground on Florida Town Center this May.

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A large wave of new development activity is taking place around the Apopka-Orlando Airport.

In recent years, Amazon opened a new distribution facility in the 180-acre Mid Florida Logistics Park, which is west of S.R. 429, south of General Electric Road and east of Hermit Smith Road.

The industrial park, developed by BlueScope Properties, is where Amazon as well as Goya Foods (Lot 1), Universal Studios Orlando (Lot 2) and Coca-Cola Co. (Lot 5) have completed or are building new facilities.

This area of Apopka is quickly growing due in part to its access to the Western Beltway (S.R. 429). The roadway stretches around the western Orlando metropolitan area between I-4 from Osceola County to S.R. 46 in Lake County.

North of the Orlando Apopka Airport, Blue Steel Development is teaming up with joint venture partner Bob Zlatkiss to help build out 2.5 million square feet of distribution warehouse space on nearly 250 acres on U.S. 441/Orange Blossom Trail.

Last year, the joint venture paid more than $8.4 million for the property.

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Shortly after, Philadelphia-based real estate investment management firm Exeter Property Group paid $14.5 million for an additional 100 acres next door.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at arabines@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 491-3357, or tweet me at @amanda_rabines. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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