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Alabama-based Colonial Properties Trust, a major Orlando development player since the mid-1980s, is pushing full-speed ahead on its most ambitious venture to date in Florida–the $200 million, 175-acre Colonial TownPark about 15 miles north of Downtown Orlando.

The Birmingham REIT estimates it will take about 10 years to build out the entire undertaking. Under construction and expected to surface by June 2001 are the first of several office buildings, a five-story, 155,000-sf structure, and the first of 456 apartment units.

On the drawing boards are plans for 1.1 million sf of office; 225,000 sf of retail; and 420 hotel rooms. The site is on the northwest corner of Interstate 4 and County Road 46A in Seminole County.

A six-month-old interchange at County Road 46A is triggering intense development interest in the area. For example, another REIT, Highwoods Properties Inc. of Raleigh, plans to break ground by yearend on 240,000 sf of office product.

Colonial’s Orlando holdings comprise 2,500 apartments and 2.5 million sf of retail. The REIT owns 50% of Orlando Fashion Square Mall.

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