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This conceptual site plan shows a proposed redevelopment of a closed Pizza Hut property, into two stand-alone retail buildings with potential drive-thrus, at the northeast corner of Palm Parkway and Apopka Vineland Road.
This conceptual site plan shows a proposed redevelopment of a closed Pizza Hut property, into two stand-alone retail buildings with potential drive-thrus, at the northeast corner of Palm Parkway and Apopka Vineland Road. (Avid Group)

Tampa-based developer Ocean Bleu Group has roughly an acre under contract in Lake Buena Vista just north of the Walt Disney World entrance, with redevelopment plans for retail, the company's CEO told GrowthSpotter.

The 0.77-acre site lies at 8699 Palm Parkway, on the northeast corner with S. Apopka Vineland Road and directly south of the Sheraton Lake Buena Vista.

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The property is home to a shuttered Pizza Hut, with the restaurant having relocated about three weeks ago to a newly-renovated building 0.2 miles to the north.

Learn more about the investor buying a piece of Orlando's tourism corridor, the recently signed restaurant tenant renovating the space, and the developer that flipped the property for a profit in two years.

The prospective seller is an affiliate of RIDA Development Corporation, which previously paid about $2.27 million for the property in September 2012. Marc Reicher, senior vice president of operations for RIDA in Orlando, confirmed it is under contract.

Ocean Bleu is considering two 2,500-square-foot retail or restaurant buildings for the property, and is now conducting due diligence and requesting a pre-app meeting with Orange County planners.

"We have a site plan we want to see if they'll approve," said CEO Bryan Schultz. "It's early stages, and we have a tenant that indicates they'd like to be there."

That interested tenant is Starbucks, added Schultz, who envisions a bank branch for the second pad but is open to other retail and restaurant concepts.

Ocean Bleu has yet to hire an architect for the buildings, but does have one in Greater Orlando it has used before for Starbucks, Schultz said.

His goal is to earn county approvals in the coming months, and have retail shells built and occupied by this time next year. Ocean Bleu's funding comes entirely via private equity, Schultz added.

Ocean Bleu has other retail developments in progress in the region, including a new grocery and QSRs at E. Colonial Drive and Lake Pickett Road, and some QSRs in Winter Springs at the northeast corner of S.R. 434 and Tuscawilla Road.

The developer is also rolling out new free-standing Quick Lane Tire & Auto service centers with Ford dealership owners in Florida and other states, Schultz said.

Avid Group is civil engineer on the project.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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