Costco, More Retail Work Begins Near Mall at Millenia

A new mixed-use development is taking shape just a short ride -— or a longer walk — from The Mall at Millenia.

Costco Wholesale Corp. already has poured the concrete slab for its newest Orlando store, making it the first tenant at the estimated $85 million Gardens on Millenia project. Costco plans to debut a 152,000-square-foot store and gas station as early as April 1.

Issaquah, Wash.-based Costco (Nasdaq: COST) didn't waste any time getting started. It bought a 15-acre parcel on Dec. 8 for $9.3 million, and its general contractor, Alpharetta, Ga.-based T.D. Farrell Construction Inc., filed a notice of commencement the same day with Orange County, signaling the start of construction.

And that's just the first piece of the Gardens on Millenia, which is being developed by BBX Capital Real Estate, a division of Fort Lauderdale-based BBX Capital Corp. (NYSE: BBX), along with Fort Lauderdale-based Stiles Corp. and Altamonte Springs-based ContraVest Builders.

"We're substantially complete on master infrastructure," BBX Capital Vice President Bruce Parker told Orlando Business Journal. "Next will be the retail center with Stiles. They should be starting site work within the next couple of weeks."

So far, the BBX-Stiles venture has signed a 62,000-square-foot Academy Sports + Outdoors and a 55,000-square-foot Hobby Lobby as junior anchors, as well as a Tijuana Flats restaurant. See the site plan for the retail plaza. Jill Gull of Stiles Realty is the leasing representative.

Stiles' in-house general contractor will be building the property. See how subcontractors can prequalify to work with Stiles.

BBX Capital is developing about 300,000 square feet of retail space in a venture with Stiles, plus the 292-unit luxury apartment complex with ContraVest. It also separately owns two additional 1-acre outparcels that could be developed into about 15,000 square feet of space each.

The project would create hundreds of temporary construction jobs, as well as permanent service jobs. It also would bring a lot of new shops and restaurants to one of the region's hottest trade areas, offering new options for existing residents and drawing more people to the area.

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