Retail Dining Developments

New mixed-use projects in the works in SoDo and Packing District

This rendering shows the view of the Grant Street Supply Co. mixed-use project in Orlando's SODO neighborhood.

Orlando’s Municipal Planning Board is scheduled to hear three cases in December involving plans for new micro-breweries in former industrial sites. Two of the projects in SoDo and next to The Packing District are being developed by the same firm: SC Advisors.

SCA associate Patrick Hughes is leading the development, leasing and management for the property, which has been in his family for generations.


“It served as an operations center for Hughes Supply back in the day,” he said. “The family is moving forward now with this development plan.”

The 6-acre site is at 215 W Grant St. between Division and Orange avenues, bordered by the SunRail tracks and immediately north of the Super Target. Hughes told GrowthSpotter the family would keep a 29,000-square-foot fully-leased warehouse on northern end of the site. That warehouse would be renovated, and Hughes would add three new buildings with a combined 50,000 square feet and an industrial-chic vibe. Those would include a second flex warehouse building, an office or micro-brewery and a 12,600-square foot retail/restaurant.

This rendering shows the outdoor space of the proposed micro brewery building in SoDo and the neighboring restaurant space.

“In terms of the program, we had opportunities to sell this to multifamily developers, but we really wanted to create a long-term project for the SoDo district,” he said. “We think there’s real demand for this. It’s a little different from some of the retail you see now along Orange Avenue.”

They engaged dap design, which specializes in adaptive reuse of industrial buildings, to design new buildings inspired by the area’s industrial character, particularly the cement plant and other structures along South Division Avenue. They wanted to complement the existing warehouse building, which has a metal exterior, and provide a transition to the commercial corridor on Orange Avenue.

“There’s a lot of heavy, kind of grimy architecture as you go further west, and we wanted to pull from that,” he said.

Hughes has filed a Specific Parcel Master Plan indicating the two industrial buildings would be in a secure area with gated access, while the microbrewery, office and retail uses would be open to the public. C4 Architecture will design the new flex industrial building. Hughes is seeking a Conditional Use Permit from the city to allow for eating and drinking uses on land that is zoned for industrial use. The firm has engaged Poulos & Bennett for the planning and entitlements and hopes to start construction as early as spring 2020.

“We’re ready to rock and roll,” he said.

SC Advisors has been in discussions with prospective tenants, including microbreweries and restaurants for the two public buildings. The restaurant would have a large outdoor dining space, and the microbrewery could feature a tap room and potentially food service, depending on the user.

“We wanted as much flexibility as we could get in terms of uses,” Hughes said. “We really think an independent restaurant would do well at this location. It’s such a great benefit to have Orlando Health right there on your doorstep. They pay really well, and their employees live in Delany Park and close to downtown. They’re looking for something different."

Martin Hudson, project manager for the Downtown South Neighborhood Improvement District, said the entire SoDo NID will have a special zoning overlay that allows for mixed-use development of older, industrial properties. It’s also in an opportunity zone.


“It’s going to become a much more urban and dense area,” Hudson told GrowthSpotter. The city is also investing $20 million in infrastructure improvements in the SoDo district. Grant Street is one of three east-west streets slated to receive pedestrian and bike improvements in 2022.

“We estimate over the next three to four years, over half billion dollars of private sector projects will constructed in the district – that includes Pulse, Orlando Health, this project, and several other residential and mixed-use projects,” Hudson added.

SC Advisors is also involved in an adaptive reuse project adjacent to the Packing District. The firm represents Equity Investments, which plans to open a microbrewery and build offices in an existing warehouse building.

SC Advisors worked closely with Dr. Phillips Charities on the formation of its 202-acre Packing District, west of College Park. Like SoDo, the Packing District anticipates a transformation of a heavy industrial area into a vibrant mixed-use community. And the firm is involved in a second mixed-use project at 1800 Crown Way, which abuts Dr. Phillips-owned properties in that district.

SC Advisors Andy Swadel said the firm is a venture partner with South Florida investor David Shapiro, head of Equity Investments, on the acquisition of the property and is leading the development. They paid $5.8 million for the complex, which is just off Orange Blossom Trail and in an opportunity zone. It’s also across the street from the planned food hall/microbrewery in the former Great Southern Box Company.

“SC will co-develop the project, and the full development team will be shared in the coming weeks,” Swadel added.

In this case, the developer is working with GAI Consultants, which is also the planner for Dr. Phillips Charities, and ASD-SKY out of Atlanta. The Packing District encourages adaptive reuse of existing industrial buildings, including the four warehouse buildings immediately west of the Equity site.

An existing warehouse would be converted into loft-style offices with abundant natural light.

The plan for the warehouse complex would convert the largest building into a 95,000-square-foot multi-tenant loft office building with structured parking. Another 4,500 square feet is earmarked for a future microbrewery and tap room, along with 1,200 square feet of outdoor dining space. There’s also a banquet space large enough to accommodate 600 guests, according to the plans. The project would be developed over two phases, Swadel said.

“Similar concepts that provide such a volume of space, abundant natural light, and generous amenity areas are very successful in markets across the country, and we think this product is long overdue and will be well received here,” he said. “Our location is directly adjacent to the Packing District, the future home of unparalleled amenities, and an easy drive to Downtown/Creative Village and Orlando’s great in-town neighborhoods. The combination of convenience and incredible space in such a unique environment should make this an attractive option for those looking for something other than the traditional office offerings in the market.”

They hope to start the first phase by mid-2020 and deliver within a year. Phase two would commence in mid-2022.

Crane Works, which occupies the existing 33,000-square-foot warehouse on the southern border of the parcel, would remain.

While some new microbreweries have opened in Orlando recently, the market lags behind other metro areas of comparable size, according to a recent Orlando Sentinel report. Deadwords Brewing Company has filed plans for a third adaptive-reuse microbrewery project in Parramore. The company plans to remodel an existing 14,000-square-foot retail building at 23 N. Orange Blossom Trail, just north of W. Central Boulevard. The production brewery would utilize 6,240 square feet, and the rest would function as a restaurant and tap room.

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