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Hamburger Heavyweight White Castle to Return to Florida After a Half Century

White Castle hasn't had a Florida restaurant since a Miami location in 1968. It owns and operates more than 375 restaurants in 13 states. This one is scheduled to open in late 2020 or early 2021!

Photo Courtesy of CoStar News.

Floridians have complained for a hamburger-less half century about the lack of White Castle restaurants in the Sunshine State, but that beef officially can be put to bed.

The iconic chain known for its soft, square burgers plans to open a location as part of the $1 billion mixed-use O-Town West in Orlando, Florida, near Walt Disney World.

The 4,500-square-foot restaurant is expected to be among White Castle's largest, and construction is expected to start in April and be complete by the end of the year or in early 2021. Like most of its other locations, it will be open 24 hours a day.

The company says it is seeking sites for expansion as it approaches its 100th anniversary. For its freestanding restaurants, the chain wants:

· Land sizes of 20,000 to 40,000 square feet

· A population of 35,000 people within a 2.5-mile radius

· An average household income of $55,000.

The chain also says it has opportunities for gas and convenience store locations.

Photo Courtesy of CoStar News.

White Castle entered Arizona last month with a Scottsdale restaurant. The hype surrounding that opening likely is a harbinger of what is expected to happen in Orlando, given the chain's popularity.

White Castle is planned for Orlando’s Tourist Corridor submarket, where retail vacancies are as low as they have been in a decade, according to the latest report from CoStar Market Analytics.

“After establishing record highs two years ago, rents have cooled over recent quarters,” the report stated. “However, rent growth is still robust, well above the submarket's long-term average, and among the best in Orlando.”

White Castle, which refers to its fans as "cravers," touts itself as the country's first fast-food chain. E.W. "Billy" Ingram started the business in 1921, more than three decades before McDonald’s opened its first location.

2020 CoStar News.

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