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ORLANDO-This could be the year International Corporate Park comes out of its 15-year sleep. Sam Evans, the park’s broker of record, is talking with four major national users, one of whom is interested in building a 300-acre technology campus in the 2,900-acre park in east Orange County.

Evans wouldn’t identify the prospects. ICP’s proximity to Orlando Utilities Commission’s Curtis Stanton Energy Center is the lever driving the deal, Evans tells GlobeSt.com.

“Energy is at the top of the list of concerns among technology corporations today,” the broker says. “ICP offers a significant energy security and that’s a tremendous plus for us.”

Central Florida’s energy grid is a strong selling point at the park where development of 20 million sf of high tech office and industrial is under way along the Bee Line Expressway, east of Orlando International Airport.

“Because of their vast computer networks, telecommunications and technology, companies can use up to 10 times the energy typical office users require and are virtually helpless without it,” Evans says. “California’s energy crisis has put most technology companies on the alert.”

ICP would “likely remain on the power grid in the event of energy shortfalls expected in California this summer,” the broker says. The park is served by both Orlando Utilities Commission and Florida Power, two of the largest utilities in the state.

There’s still more power inventory ahead. If Gov. Jeb Bush and his cabinet sign off on a new project later this year, OUC plans to break ground in 2002 on a new $250-million, 633-megawatt, natural gas plant at the Stanton Energy Center. Southern Co., Kissimmee Utility Authority and Florida Municipal Power Agency are the joint developers.

“We have a tremendous energy supply and that is one of the reasons this site was planned as a technology center,” Evans tells GlobeSt.com.

Companies planning to build new distribution centers are also monitoring the energy supply line, George D. Livingston, founder/chairman, Realvest Partners, Inc., Maitland, FL., tells GlobeSt.com.

“Higher fuel costs will affect distribution centers by significantly increasing the cost of shipping,” Livingston says. “Distributors are taking a closer look at locations that are well-served by surface transportation systems.”

On that note, ICP is designing an extension of Alafaya Trail south to the Bee Line Expressway. The park estimates it will spend $600,000 for the design and permitting work.

Land at the park is selling for an average $2 per sf or about $87,120 per acre. The largest landowner in the park is Lockheed Martin Corp. with 200 undeveloped acres purchased in 1987.

Expected to close by year end is a contracted 37-acre deal for a 200,000-sf distribution center planned by Dallas distributor Sierra Stone Inc. The estimated contract price is $3.22 million or about $2 per sf. Sierra Stone distributes quartz countertops manufactured by DuPont Co. and sold under the Zodiaq label.

International Corporate Park’s owner is Orlando Business Partners, a joint venture of Oakridge Investments Inc. of Dallas and Excel Legacy Corp. of San Diego. OBP bought the park in March of this year for $17.9 million cash. The price equates to $6,172 per acre or about 14 cents per sf.

Dallas developer David Roan, who helped make Austin, TX a high profile, high-tech center, is the lead developer in an investment cartel that is developing ICP.

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