Orlando Business Journal
A Central Florida developer just bought land that real estate executives had been courting for decades, setting up a major commercial development near the Orlando International Airport.
Winter Park-based Whitley Capital LLC acquired the 72 acres in late June for $12.2 million, or roughly $169,444 an acre, at Taft Vineland Road and Orange Avenue, according to the parties involved in the deal. The developer plans to start construction in mid-2020 on three speculative industrial buildings totaling roughly 830,000 square feet. Construction may wrap up in 2021.
The deed hasn’t been recorded in Orange County.
Daytona Beach-based Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co. (NYSE Amex: CTO) supplied an $8 million loan as part of the transaction. The seller, Cone Betty S Estate, was represented by JLL’s Bret Felberg, senior vice president of capital markets; Josh Lipoff, executive vice president; and Jeff Morris, managing director.
Developers for years had eyed the site, including prominent industrial real estate company West Palm Beach-based McCraney Property Co. The developer planned to build 977,200 square feet of rail-served, industrial and warehouse space on the site at 88 Taft Vineland Road.
The land’s size and proximity to the airport made it desirable, according to real estate experts. “Every single developer in town was after that land,” said Bo Bradford, co-president of Lee & Associates Central Florida, who wasn’t involved in the deal.
Meanwhile, Central Florida’s overall growth in recent years has been driving industrial demand, including for warehouses, distribution centers and manufacturing plants. In addition, industrial already is a hot sector in Central Florida, mostly because of the e-commerce boom led by Seattle-based giant Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN). Retailers want distribution centers closer to their customers so they can deliver products faster, which is why new users are lining up for space.
High demand has caused a surge in rental prices. Central Florida’s average industrial rent in secondquarter 2019 is $7.20 per square foot, up from $6.30 per square foot in second-quarter 2018, Lee & Associates reported.