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Innovative office concept XSpace scouting locations in Orlando

Sep 29, 2023Sep 29, 2023

An innovative new office concept that has sprouted multiple locations around Texas is expanding into Florida and targeting Orlando for its market entry.

XSpace Group originated its drive-up office condo concept in Australia and now has projects built or in the works in Austin and Houston, Chairman Howard Ecker told GrowthSpotter. The company has engaged veteran Orlando developer Tom Nelson to assist in site selection.

"Florida is a great target for us — Orlando, Daytona. We have two potential sites in Daytona. We’ve identified Miami is also a target of ours. There's several cities in Florida that I think could take an XSpace, but my belief is we crawl before we walk before we run — and we’re in the process of just starting to run in Texas. And at the same time, we’re quite interested in sites in Florida and we’re going to look at them. I think Orlando will probably be our first venture into Florida, just because of the demographics and all that's going on there."

Each XSpace building runs about 100,000 square feet and sells customizable office suites as small as 400 up to 10,000 square feet, with mezzanines and terraces. The concrete construction buildings include vehicle lifts and center drive aisles so the owner can park right in front of his suite. Each building costs about $20 million to build.

Francisco Gonzalez Pulido of FGP Atelier led the design from concept to creation. The original prototype from founder and CEO Byron Smith started as a vertical, drive-up storage facility but has evolved into the upscale office condo product it is today, adding features like conference rooms, a kitchen/breakroom and a rooftop lounge area and event space.

"We have lots of units that were sold as man caves and she sheds. And we’ve sold a lot of units to businesses," Ecker said. "People say to me, well what is XSpace? And I say XSpace is whatever you want it to be. You can do anything in the XSpace unit — except live there."

Ecker said COVID prompted the company to work with Pulido to redesign the prototype to make it less auto-focused and to function less like a parking garage.

"We made substantial changes in Houston," he said. "At the main one in Austin, for example, you drive in and drive to your unit. In Houston, there’ll be two lifts, one at each end of the building in your drive your car into a lift that will take you to your floor, and then you’ll drive right to the front of your unit, where you can park."

The exterior also got an overhaul to appeal to the new target customer. And because most of the parking is inside the building, there is less need for surface parking, which means the 100,000-square-foot building can be developed on as little as two acres. That makes it attractive as an infill redevelopment site.

In Houston, for example, XSpace Group joint-ventured with another developer to build the new prototype in the city's design district. Condos have been pre-sold to interior designers and other professionals in the industry, and the company will break ground in August.

Ecker said they’re giving themselves a six month window to complete site selection for Orlando. "We’re in the process of reviewing a bunch of sites of in the Orlando metro area. That's all I can really say because we have a bunch of opportunities. We have to narrow them down."

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at [email protected] or (407) 420-6261, or tweet me at @LKinslerOGrowth. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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