Conceptual plans for where a parking garage could be built alongside the Starling Chevrolet of Orlando dealership.
Conceptual plans for where a parking garage could be built alongside the Starling Chevrolet of Orlando dealership. (B&S Engineering)

Starling Chevrolet of Orlando is exploring options to build a five-level parking garage next to its dealership in South Orange County to gain vehicle inventory, a response to increasing land values in the area, but faces potential height restriction challenges ahead.

Located at 13155 S. Orange Blossom Trail, northeast of the intersection with S.R. 417, the proposed five-level garage would add a net of roughly 300 parking spaces to the property, and be positioned between the two-year-old dealership, a stormwater pond and the expressway on part of the dealer's 14.45 acres.

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Various hurdles were identified during a pre-app meeting with county staff on Wednesday, regarding if property entitlements and current zoning will allow a garage to be built there.

An early-stage rendering of what a new inventory garage could look like on the site of Starling Chevrolet of Orlando.
An early-stage rendering of what a new inventory garage could look like on the site of Starling Chevrolet of Orlando. (Praxis3 Architecture)

The focal question was how commercial height on the property is limited to 50 feet, per the Land Use Plan and DRI. The parking garage would top out at 48.5 feet, per concept plans, but the top ends of multiple elevator shafts would protrude 5-11 feet above the 50-foot limit.

A possible solution is designing those elevator shaft caps as an "architectural feature," county staff said. Within the past year, the county zoning manager and Development Review Committee have begun considering approval for architectural features that exceed the code's 50-foot limit.

The proposed garage's first floor would be an extension of the dealership's service shop, which would double the shop's capacity.

"That is a big driver for us, if I can double my service shop space it would be a win for my guests," dealer and general manager Walker Starling told GrowthSpotter. "We park about 400 units at our off-site storage property as well, which creates some complications and inefficiencies."

RLH Construction, which built Starling's dealership in South Orange and another in St. Cloud, is prospective general contractor on the project.

Consultants with RLH told county staff that more Orlando-area auto dealerships are exploring plans for new parking garages to maximize their inventory on increasingly valuable land.

The new Porsche South Orlando dealership planned on 3.55 acres at 4891 Vineland Road, west of the Mall at Millenia, included a five-level garage in its plans submitted to City of Orlando in September.

A parking garage is also planned for the new Lexus of Orlando dealership now under construction on 25 acres along Major Boulevard, northeast of Universal Orlando.

Civil engineer on the Starling project is B&S Engineering Services of Winter Park, and the architect is Praxis3 out of Atlanta.

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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