Why This South Florida Developer is Moving His HQ to Downtown Orlando

Steven McCraney wants his company near the real estate action.

So, the CEO of McCraney Property Co. is uprooting his West Palm Beach-based firm and moving its corporate headquarters to Orlando in the coming months. McCraney’s firm is one of Central Florida’s most active commercial real estate developers, and he sees Orlando as providing the biggest opportunity for new industrial development in the Sunshine State through the next 50 years — more specifically, along Interstate 4.

The company in January bought a roughly 3,000-square-foot space on the 11th floor of downtown Orlando’s Chase Plaza tower at 189 S. Orange Ave. McCraney plans to grow into a bigger space as the company’s 32 employees move to Central Florida. The move is slated to be completed by mid-2021. Avison Young’s Lawson Dann and Scott Pamplin represented both parties in the property sale. It’s unknown how much McCraney paid for the office condo, and public records for the transaction couldn’t be found.

However, McCraney already is well-known in Central Florida for his large-scale industrial developments — and he believes the region is primed for more. “We all know the [industrial development] hub over the last 50 years has been Atlanta,” McCraney said during a NAIOP Inc. panel discussion at the Citrus Club on May 16. “Today, it’s right here.”

McCraney already has more than 4 million square feet of industrial space underway in the Orlando area. Among the largest projects is the estimated $117 million Infinity Park, a 1.3 million-square-foot industrial park in southwest Orlando being built by a partnership between McCraney and Lake Nona developer Tavistock Development Co. LLC. Representatives from Tavistock couldn’t be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, McCraney submitted plans to build 977,200 square feet of rail-served, industrial and warehouse space on roughly 70 acres near Orlando International Airport. The project will be in five buildings and is estimated to cost $63.5 million, according to industry standards. McCraney declined to comment on the project.

The Central Florida projects make up roughly half of McCraney Property’s total square feet now under construction in the Southeast.

Central Florida, particularly Orange County, is a critical market for industrial developers and users. And McCraney Property’s move to Orlando shows how hot industrial real estate is here, according to local real estate experts. “McCraney single-handedly has been the most active developer in our region and probably the state,” said Bo Bradford, co-president of Lee & Associates Central Florida, who has worked with McCraney. “His huge plays here have been enormously successful.”