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ORLANDO-Already established as a distribution and manufacturing hub in only 10 years, south Lake County–25 miles west of Downtown Orlando–expects to usher in three new spec-built, business park ventures over the next 12 months.

The first will be trucking chief Carroll Fulmer’s planned 23-acre park adjacent to the county-owned, 733-acre, 90%-sold-out Christopher C. Ford Industrial Park in Groveland, FL.

Fulmer, president, Carroll Fulmer Logistics Corp., Orlando, couldn’t be reached at GlobeSt.com’s publication deadline. But brokers and construction industry estimators who have worked with Fulmer in the past say he plans to break ground in October, offering half-acre to 2 ½-acre lots.

Land brokers tell GlobeSt.com the estimated price for the dirt will be about the same as the existing rates at the Christopher Ford complex–80 cents per sf or about $35,000 per acre.

“Where are you going to get comparable dirt, prices and location like that in Orlando?” Dean Fritchen, senior associate, Coldwell Banker Commercial/NRT, Winter Park, FL, tells GlobeSt.com.

The site is at U.S. 27 and the Florida Turnpike area, one of the state’s most desirable development locations, according to national retailers which already have booked sites in nearby Clermont, FL.

Brokers say Fulmer expects to sell out the project in 18 months. He has already received inquiries from concrete mix companies, warehouse firms and high-tech wholesalers, brokers tell GlobeSt.com. A restaurant and a bank are planned on outparcels.

Also expected to break ground in 2003 are the 3,000-acre Crayton Pruitt Ranch development in Okahumpka, FL, near Leesburg, FL. That estimated $1 billion, 20-year project anticipates having 310 acres of industrial, 36 acres of commercial and 7,500 homes.

A third project by Orlando-based Irvin B. Green & Associates Inc., an insurance company, would be a first for south Lake County.

Green proposes a 283-acre professional office park, patterned after the successful 50-building, five million-sf Maitland Center in Maitland, FL, five miles north of Downtown Orlando. Green’s project would be south of the Crayton Pruitt project.

Among the corporate tenants at the 10-year-old Christopher Ford Industrial Park are Circuit City’s 514,000-sf distribution center, Marriott International, Goodyear, Domino’s Pizza, American Hotel Register Co. and Sprint Corp.

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