Excerpted from Orlando Business Journal story.
O-Town is Unicorp President Chuck Whittall’s biggest project in the works in Central Florida, where the company currently has a combined $1.9 billion in planned development. The O-Town project, as first reported by OBJ, will include a 400,000-square-foot, grocery-anchored retail center called The Boardwalk at O-Town West — a tourist-centric complex with a mix of restaurants, shops and a 600-space parking garage. The project also will have 1,500 upscale apartments in multiple towers, a potential hotel and 150 homes in an area called Village at O-Town.
O-Town’s development team includes project engineer Raleigh, N.C.-based Kimley-Horn & Associates Inc. and Miami-based Zyscovich Architects’ Winter Park office, with the apartments being built by Roger B. Kennedy Inc.
The potential retail lineup shows that Unicorp is sticking with its plans to attract tenants that locals aren’t familiar with. It also shows that Orlando’s $70 billion tourism industry — which drew a record 72 million visitors in 2017 — is enticing retailers to consider Orlando as a contender for new concepts, said Terrence Hart, senior director with Franklin Street in Orlando, who is not involved in the project.
Certainly, Orlando isn’t a restaurant market among elite cities such as Chicago or New York, but “it’s getting there,” Hart said.