Jim Hall helps mentor UCF students in real estate development; April 21, 2020

We were proud to watch our team of University of Central Florida real estate students present their vision for redevelopment of Orlando’s Fashion Square mall property last week during the UCF Case Competition, sponsored by NAIOP Central Florida Chapter. Dubbed “City Beautiful Development” students Ryan Griffith, Kyle Ruperto, CAPM, LEED GA, Matt Santangelo and Norven Erazo cooked up a highly creative and dense urban infill redevelopment concept (see site plan attached). They weren’t chosen as the winners, but it was fun to watch them grow during the semester. A big thanks to our fellow mentors on the team, which included Trevor Hall, Jr. of Colliers International, planner Jim Hall of HDSi, Darick Brokaw of Baker Barrios Architects, Billy Rodriguez and Colette Santana of JLL, Robert Luis Castillo of American Momentum Bank, and Drew Dawson of Tavistock Development Company.

(from LiknkedIn)

COVID causes havoc with development processing; March 24, 2020

Orange County cancels upcoming zoning meetings until further notice

A site plan for the O-Town West mixed-use development in Orange County. The project is one of several cases on hold to seek P&Z approvals.
A site plan for the O-Town West mixed-use development in Orange County. The project is one of several cases on hold to seek P&Z approvals.(Unicorp National Developments)

Orange County just confirmed it will be cancelling the next Planning and Zoning Commission meeting until further notice.

Late last week, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings cancelled all advisory committee or board meetings for a minimum of 30 days. That pushed this month’s P&Z meeting to April 16, but that meeting was just cancelled.

Orange County spokesperson Despina McLaughlin told GrowthSpotter the county is in the process of scheduling a special PZC hearing, but there are no dates for any cases at this time.

The decision comes amid concerns about public gatherings as the spread of coronavirus keeps expanding in Florida. More than half of the state’s counties have at least one case and statewide totals continuing to climb.

As of Friday, the next Development Review Committee meeting date (April 22) is still on the book..

“However, given that two DRC meetings before have already been cancelled, it’s unknown whether or not we’ll be able catch up,” McLaughlin said. “This means that cases that were expected to be heard in April may actually get pushed back, too.”

Affected projects include Unicorp National Developments Inc.’s  (an HDSi client) massive O-Town West mixed-use development, which is slated to feature up to 1,500 residential units and a mix of retail, dining and office space.

Other major developments include Demetree Global’s Collegiate Village PD across from the University of Central Florida and Sun Terra Communities’ 530-acre Silverleaf mixed-use community in Horizon West.

“Developers may moan and groan, but it’s the right thing to do,” Jim Hall of Hall Development Services said.

Meanwhile, planners in Osceola County are telling developers to expect significant delays on rezoning applications due to the county’s inability to hold public hearings during the coronavirus pandemic.

The county also canceled Planning Commission meetings until further notice.

Housing Shortage in Orange County – Then why is it so hard to get a new project approved?; March 3, 2020

Orlando’s housing supply hit a record low this year, leaving a shortage of 6,500 homes

In January, there were just 7,030 homes on the market for sale, according to the most recent report from the Orlando Regional Realtors Association
In January, there were just 7,030 homes on the market for sale, according to the most recent report from the Orlando Regional Realtors Association (David Zalubowski/AP)

Orlando’s housing inventory hit a record low this year, signaling the continued turnaround from the Great Recession but also the tight squeeze on a region already dealing with a severe shortage of affordable homes.

In January, there were just 7,030 homes on the market for sale, according to the most recent report from the Orlando Regional Realtors Association, a 15% drop from the year prior and a nearly 60% decline since the end of the recession in 2009. While the shrinking supply is a reflection of the strong local economy — a stark contrast from the 25,000 homes for sale following the financial crisis — it leaves a shortfall of 6,595 homes and makes it all the more difficult for residents looking to buy a home.

“There’s a tremendous amount of new residents moving into Central Florida, and we’re not able to build houses fast enough, and that’s where we see that drop in numbers,” said Aldo Martin, owner of Bellavista Building Group in Maitland. “And that will probably go for a while until this migration into Florida flattens.”

The greatest shortfall is still among more affordable homes, with the median price of a home in Orlando hovering around $245,000, a nearly 8% increase since last year. Martin pointed to rising land values, competition for skilled labor and increasing material costs in explaining why it’s become less lucrative and more difficult for developers to build affordable homes.

The Orlando area is also ranked dead last among U.S. cities for affordable rental housing by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, with just 13 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 households who need them.

ORRA reports that there’s only a little more than a two-month supply of single-family homes priced below $300,000, almost three months worth of those priced between $300,000 and $399,000. By contrast, there is a nearly 8½-month supply of homes priced above $700,000 and more than a 17-month supply of those going for more than $800,000. Generally, a six-month supply indicates a market balanced between buyers and sellers.

“There is demand, but we’re struggling to feed that demand. If the consumer could afford a $400,000 home … we can produce that today and make a profit. But that’s not where the buyers are. The buyers are $300,000 and below. I still have buyers that come in and all they can afford is in the high $100,000s,” Martin said.

 

 

Golf Course Redevelopment in east Orange County, Florida; March 3, 2020

A majority of the subject parcels highlighted in white will be redeveloped to support a new 304 single-family subdivision.
A majority of the subject parcels highlighted in white will be redeveloped to support a new 304 single-family subdivision. (Orange County Property Appraiser/GrowthSpotter)

The EastWood Planned Development consists of about 1,200 acres, which include several large residential communities, a Publix-anchored neighborhood center and the fairways of the EastWood Golf Club at 13950 Golfway Boulevard.

BDC bought the land in 1993 and entitled its land use so it may support up to 2,320 residential dwelling units and 100,000 square feet of commercial space. The new plan would mean the community will reach its maximum buildout.
Single-family subdivisions in the PD feature proximity to the EastWood Golf Club with some homes boasting views of the golf course, but that may no longer be.
At a community meeting last month, golf course owners announced their intention to close the facility in August. The decision comes years after the owners wrestled with the rising expense of maintaining greens against the diminishing revenue of the golf course.

A Land Development Plan filed in Orange County shows BDC intends to take control of 72.5 acres of land, including existing golf course grounds.

The developer is seeking to build a 304-lot, single-family home subdivision. Jim Hall of Hall Development Services is the consultant and Hal Kantor of Lowndes is providing legal services.

In order to move forward with the project, BDC is requesting to allocate previously approved uses in the PD to count toward portions of the golf course.

At the community meeting last month drew about 1,000 people from Eastwood, and many disapproved of the plans. Residents aired concerns over traffic, flooding and schools overcrowding.

In 2015, the golf course owners attempted to launch a similar development. Their goal was to redevelop EastWood Golf Club into a mixed-use community with 300 homes and 70,000 square feet of commercial space, but those plans fell through.

Last year, GrowthSpotter reported plans by form Eden Multifamily to build 250 apartments on part of the Stoneybrook East Golf Club located just 1.3 miles south of EastWood Golf Club.

 

 

HDSi new neighborhood moves toward development; February 14, 2020

Plans call for up to 152 single-family homes west of Plymouth-Sorrento Road and east of SR 429.
Plans call for up to 152 single-family homes west of Plymouth-Sorrento Road and east of SR 429. (The BurnBrae Companies)

Homebuilder D.R. Horton is expanding its footprint in Apopka with the acquisition of Bridle Path, a 152-lot subdivision in the Kelly Park Road overlay.

The BurnBrae Companies, a real estate investment, development, and management company headquartered in Washington, D.C., assembled the 51-acre site and entitled the property last year, making Bridle Path one of the first single-family home community within the Kelly Park Interchange Form-Based Code area — a district created by city officials to help drive future development and economic activity to the city.

The once sparsely developed region is roughly halfway between the downtowns of Apopka and Mount Dora.

The purchasing entity, Forestar Real Estate Group paid $4.18 million for the project. Forestar is a land holding company for D.R. Horton.

Land Advisors Organization’s Orlando team of Mike Ripley and Steve Flanagan acted as transaction brokers for the sale.

The approved site plan, led by Jim Hall of HallDSi, for Bridle Path shows a mix of 50- and 55-foot lots. Amenities include a pool and cabana.

The community will have road connections with a proposed 50-acre subdivision immediately to the south. Orlando Beltway Associates is seeking approval for 140 single-family homes and about 60 townhomes; also a HallDSi project. The conceptual site plan shows a minimum lot width of 40 feet and 20 feet.

The developments are among the first to rise near the Kelly Park Road interchange — one of four interchanges opening in part of the $1.6 billion, 25-mile Wekiva Parkway project that will complete the beltway around northwest metropolitan Orlando.

The expressway was designed to provide an alternative to I-4, and relieve U.S. 441, S.R. 46 and other area roads of traffic congestion.

HallDSi leads Marriott World Center Expansion; February 6, 2020

A rendering of the newly proposed meeting space at the Marriott Orlando World Center hotel.
A rendering of the newly proposed meeting space at the Marriott Orlando World Center hotel. (DLR Group)

The world’s largest Marriott hotel wants to get even bigger.

Bethesda, Maryland-based Host Hotels & Resorts, the owners of the 200-acre Orlando World Center Marriott hotel, just submitted plans in Orange County seeking to add 60,000 square feet of meeting space and an aquatic park with three new slides.

The 2,009-room resort at 8701 World Center Dr. already features 450,000 square feet of event space as well as two 200-foot waterslides and one 90-foot speed slide at its main pool-area, Falls Pool Oasis.

A conceptual site plan shows the additional meeting space will extend southward from the hotel’s current exhibit hall. The undertaking would require encroaching onto World Center Drive and some golf course fairways, meaning the developers would have to construct some new roadway and golf cart paths.

A conceptual site plan of the 60,000-square-feet of new meeting space and new aquatic park at Marriott Orlando World Center.
A conceptual site plan of the 60,000-square-feet of new meeting space and new aquatic park at Marriott Orlando World Center. (Orange County)

Meeting room spaces are divided into eight rooms roughly 3,600 square feet each.

The submitted plans also depict a new water park with a lazy river component. Slides mentioned in plans include an Aqua Sphere slide, a Boomerango waterslide and a waterslide with a tailspin element.

The waterpark would rise around the resort’s current health club and spa, plans show.

Jim Hall of HDSi is the planner for the expansion.  Brad Barneson of the Atlanta-based development services firm, The Hardy Group, is representing Host Hotels in the project. DLR Group is the architect and Richard Lis of Harris Civil Engineers is the civil engineer.

In 2015, the owners embarked on a $4.5 million renovation plan that called for upgrading and expanding its function space and revamping its 8,400-square-foot spa building.

Representatives at Host Hotels were not immediately available to comment.

Amenities at the Orlando World Center Marriott hotel include the 18-hole Hawk’s Landing Golf Club golf course, a luxury spa and fitness center, and nine restaurants and lounges.

In recent months, GrowthSpotter reported on another proposed development within the Marriott World Center Planned Development area. Developers were looking to entitle a 2.35-acre site at 14344 S.R. 535 with a mix of office, retail and restaurant uses.

The Grow Coming to Fruition; January 23, 2020

THE GROW
MITIGATING THE EFFECTS OF LARGE SCALE PROJECT IN EAST ORLANDO
Orlando, Florida (January 14, 2020)

Orange County Commissioner Emily Bonilla has long advocated for the protection of rural land. In 2016, a developer proposed a large scale development in the rural settlement area of east Orange County. Before coming to office, Commissioner Bonilla began advocating for conserving the settlement area, and she continued this cause once elected as District 5 Commissioner. This controversial development was appealed and made it to Governor Rick Scott and his cabinet, who granted final approval in favor of the development.

Once the project was approved, Commissioner Bonilla set her sights on ways to mitigate the effects of this development on an already strained road system. The issue came into full swing when FDOT failed to advance a project widening State Road 50, which proponents for the development thought would alleviate the failing road system in that area. Although the Central Florida Expressway Authority and the Florida Turnpike may advance projects to expand State Road 50, the projects are on hold due to funding.

“It was tricky because the development was already approved, so there was no way to stop it from coming. Now I had to put all my effort into finding ways to mitigate the effects to the failing roadway,” said Commissioner Bonilla. “I am happy to have had the cooperation of Derek Bruce, representing The Grow applicants, and Jon Weiss and staff at Orange County. They have been instrumental in incorporating the terms of this agreement to help meet the expectations of the community.”

As the saying goes, when there is a will, there’s a way, and that way was paved at this Tuesday’s Board of County Commissioners meeting when the board approved a Roadway Network and Mitigation Agreement. Based on the current payment schedule in the agreement, the developer will pay $26 million by 2024. The county will allocate the funds to mitigate the impacts on the surrounding roads impacted by the development.

“My next step is to invite the community to a meeting where we can propose various projects to apply these funds,” said Commissioner Bonilla. “I want to ensure that we hear our citizens and that we are building the infrastructure to handle the new incoming east orange residents.”

HallDSi is the community planner for the original approvals and the continued permitting.

New residential community in Apopka for DR Horton; December 19, 2019

An aerial view of the planned residential project across from Orlando Health's envisioned medical campus in Apopka.
An aerial view of the planned residential project across from Orlando Health’s envisioned medical campus in Apopka. (Orange County Property Appraiser/GrowthSpotter)

Orlando Beltway Associates is trying to successfully pass off plans for the remaining roughly 50 acres of land it owns within Apopka’s Kelly Park Interchange Form-Based Code area.

According to the most recently submitted site plan, the company is looking to rezone the property to allow for a residential development that will feature a mix of townhomes and single-family homes.

The plans come about year after Orlando Beltway Associates sold the land across from the site to Orlando Health. The property at 5401 Effie Dr. sold for about $2.34 million. Prior to the closing, the hospital announced it envisioned building a medical campus that would serve communities in both Apopka and Mt. Dora.

Plans for the lot to the east call for about 140 single-family homes and about 60 townhomes. The conceptual site plan shows a minimum lot width of 40 feet and 20 feet.

Because the site falls within the Kelly Park Interchange District, developers are required to rezone the land to a Mixed-KPI zoning before receiving any development approvals from the city.

The site is also located within the KPI Transition Overlay District, which is intended to provide a buffer between the higher density projects to the south. Developments there are permitted residential densities between five dwelling units per acre and 10 dwelling units per acre.

The zoning amendment went before Apopka’s Development Review Committee last week.

City planner and project manager Bobby Howell told GrowthSpotter the request for the Orlando Beltway East project did not move forward with approvals. The developer must therefore resubmit plans and address some outstanding staff comments, he said.

Orlando Beltway Associates banked the land in Apopka almost 30 years ago in anticipation of a future Orlando Beltway. The company is led by Full Sail University founder James “Bill” Heavener, real estate developer Patrick Morley and Chuck J. Mitchell Jr., CEO of First Capital Property Group.

VHB is the project engineer, along with consultant Jim Hall. The site plan shows the community will link to a neighboring residential subdivision to the north called Bridle Path. The BurnBrae Companies, a real estate company headquartered in Washington, D.C., planned the 150-lot residential subdivision.

The developments are among the first to rise near the Kelly Park Road interchange — one of four interchanges opening in part of the $1.6 billion, 25-mile Wekiva Parkway project that will complete the beltway around northwest metropolitan Orlando.

The expressway was designed to provide an alternative to I-4, and relieve U.S. 441, S.R. 46 and other area roads of traffic congestion.

South Lake Crossings zoning approved; November 22, 2019

Clermont has approved and annexed the 743-acre Wellness Way Planned Unit Development that will bring over 2,000 new homes and apartments to South Lake County.
Clermont has approved and annexed the 743-acre Wellness Way Planned Unit Development that will bring over 2,000 new homes and apartments to South Lake County. (HDSi/VHB)

Homebuilding giant Lennar is under contract for the residential portion of a massive Wellness Way mixed-use community in South Lake County that’s entitled for 1,850 residential units.

Clermont’s City Council unanimously approved the annexation, future land use and master plan this week for the 743-acre South Lake Crossing district across U.S. 27 from Lake Louisa and just northeast of the planned Olympus sports-themed community.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do putting in roadways and utilities, but the important thing is we can get started now,” said Jim Karr, a member of the ownership group.

The residential portion of the community is approved only for detached single family homes and townhomes, and it includes two gated neighborhoods. The lot widths range from 18 feet wide for the townhomes up to 70 feet wide for the detached single-family homes. The PUD identifies a 10-acre amenity site on Wellness Way, as well as numerous public and private parks.

“This will be an opportunity to participate in a regionally significant master plan, which is appealing for us,” Lennar Orlando Division President Brock Nicholas said. “We respect our land seller’s experience in Central Florida, and their poise while doing complex deals.”

The master plan designates 102 acres west of Hancock Road as Employment Center, a land use category that allows for a mix of offices, commercial and all types of residential development. The plan would cap the number of apartments at 350 units.

The project also designates 18.8 acres for neighborhood commercial uses, which include a grocery-anchored retail center and other complementary retail uses, for a max of 140,000 square feet.

By Jerry Stockfisch

Clermont City Manager Darren Gray said city and county leaders have been working with the ownership group for two years to ensure the project moves forward at the right time. “South Lake Crossing is a massive mixed-use project with a substantial combination of residential and commercial development planned, including half-a-million square feet of office space,” he said. “This means many more opportunities for jobs, shops and restaurants in Clermont. Our economy continues to grow and our future is bright as we strategically expand south in the Wellness Way area.”

Karr said his company would keep all of the land west of Hancock Road, which entitled for commercial and employment use while selling the 469 acres approved for residential development to Lennar. The ownership group is in discussions with potential buyers for portions of the employment center tracts, but there are no firm deals yet.

“We’ve got a lot of irons in the fire now, and it’s all just starting to come together,” Karr said.

The PUD reserves 15 acres for a future charter school and 1.5 acres for a new fire station. But Karr said virtually all of the nonresidential uses would likely come after the first rooftops.

“Lennar is the big dog that will drive this project,” Karr said. “The contract is structured as two takedowns – with half the units in each phase. They’ll close on the first one when it’s ready to break ground.”

The next step will be to file preliminary subdivision plans, Karr said. The land planner and civil engineer is VHB, along with HDSi (Hall Development Services ) as planning consultant. Shutts & Bowen is legal counsel.

Lennar submitted examples of housing product types for the townhomes and various lot sizes, but Nicholas said it was still early to discuss the development program specifics.

“There are a number of important infrastructure design and engineering steps yet to be accomplished, but there are smart, capable folks involved at the city and as neighboring landowners to cooperate and bring the plan to life,” he said.

The South Lake Crossings mixed-use district is outlined in yellow. It abuts the 243-acre Olympus planned development.
The South Lake Crossings mixed-use district is outlined in yellow. It abuts the 243-acre Olympus planned development. (Clermont)

The mostly rural U.S. 27 corridor of South Lake County is quickly filling in the development gaps between the Cagan Crossings area in Four Corners and downtown Clermont. Adjacent to the Wellness Way PUD, Olympus Sports & Entertainment Group owns 243 acres at U.S. 27 and Schofield Road.

Plans for Olympus call for up to 1,312 hotel rooms; 805 townhomes; 614 apartment units; 155,642 square feet of office space; 360,358 square feet of retail space and 345,283 square feet of medical office space that will feature spa services and holistic programs as well as centers that provide orthopedic injury diagnosis, rehabilitation services and physiology, nutrition and conditioning programs.

Meanwhile, the city has annexed the 55-acre corner tract, called “Clonts Corner,” and entitled it for up to 600 multifamily housing units and 152,000 square feet of commercial uses.

Karr said all of the landowners and developers will share the cost of building Wellness Way. “All of those areas need to be developed, because they all contribute right-of-way and impact fees,” he said.

The Central Florida Expressway Authority is also moving forward with plans for the Lake-Orange Connector, a new toll road south of Wellness Way that will connect S.R. 429 and Horizon West to U.S. 27 just south of Lake Louisa State Park.

Graves said the toll road is part of a larger road network that will improve circulation in the Four Corners region. “We’ll also be looking at two north-south roads – Hancock Road going south, which is a part of this project, as well as extending County Road 455 south.”

 

Round-abouts are the Safer Alternative; November 21, 2019

Are roundabouts really safer than traditional intersections?

By Star Tribune

By next summer, a new roundabout will replace a traditional a traffic signal at a busy and often congested intersection in downtown Prior Lake, and Lois Kocon isn’t convinced it will make things any better.

“It makes me anxious,” said Kocon, who lives near the new circular interchange that is being built by Scott County and two other agencies on Hwy. 13 and County Road 21. “You are at the mercy of the person to your right. A lot of people are concerned how that will work. Is it going to solve a problem? Will it make the problems worse?”

Kocon wanted to know if roundabouts really deliver the safety and traffic flow benefits that experts say they have. So she asked Curious Minnesota, the newspaper’s community-driven reporting project, to find out.

With only about 5,000 roundabouts on the nation’s roads — making them still somewhat uncommon — it’s natural that drivers might consider them confusing. But Jim Brainard, the mayor of Carmel, Ind., is a big proponent of them. He spent time studying law in the United Kingdom and marveled at how efficiently traffic flowed through them. In 1996, he brushed off ridicule and brought the first roundabout to Carmel. Now with 126 of them, the city just north of Indianapolis is virtually traffic light free and unofficially known as the “Roundabout Capital of America.”

“I’m responsible,” he proudly says, touting the results that have come with them. Property-damage crashes at Carmel’s roundabouts are down 40%, and crashes with injuries have dropped by 75%. Insurance rates have dropped, and drivers have saved gas with less stopping and idling at traffic signals.

Results in Carmel mirror what has occurred nationally where the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have found a 37% decrease in total crashes and a 75% drop in crashes resulting in injuries when compared with traditional signalized intersections. Fatal mishaps dropped by 90%. Wrecks involving pedestrians declined 40%, the data found.

More than 10,000 motorists died at intersections in 2018, according to the FHWA, and fatalities often resulted from head-on, right-angle or T-bone crashes in which another driver ran a red light or was making a turn. Roundabouts have a favorable safety record because motorists are generally moving in the same direction and traveling at slower speeds, said Joe Gustafson, a traffic engineer with Washington County Public Works Traffic Operations.

It’s not that crashes don’t happen, but they are more likely to be low-energy sideswipes or rear-enders that tend to bring less serious consequences, he said.

“You are generally cleaning up glass and not blood,” he said.

Traffic flow has improved, too, Gustafson said. When the intersection of Manning Avenue and Hwy. 96 was governed by a four-way stop, it was not uncommon for quarter-mile backups to develop weekday afternoons on Manning. After the roundabout opened in 2016, “those backups went away completely.”

That’s been the case at several of the other 17 roundabouts in the county where there will be 21 by next year, Gustafson said.

Alleviating congestion in downtown Prior Lake is the major driver behind the construction of the roundabout on Hwy. 13 and another one nearby, said Scott County engineer Tony Winiecki.

When approaching a roundabout, drivers should yield to traffic already in the circle, then enter when there is a gap. When approaching a roundabout with two lanes, a driver who wants to exit to the right should pick the right or outside lane. Drivers who need to make a left turn should choose the left or inside lane. Drivers going straight can choose either lane. When entering a two-lane roundabout, drivers should yield to traffic in both lanes, Gustafson said.

The biggest mistake, mostly at roundabouts with two lanes, is “drivers treat them like merging onto a freeway and that they should never stop at the entry,” Gustafson said. “They need to wait at the entry until traffic is clear.”

Though some drivers are still apprehensive about roundabouts, concerns and anxiety generally go away — or at least way down — after they drive or walk through them, said Jeff Shaw,Intersections Program manager with FHWA. In Prior Lake, officials next spring plan to hold educational events to demonstrate how to navigate a roundabout.

“You see a complete 180,” Shaw said. “That was not so bad, people say. Our focus is on saving lives and this one does a remarkable job. We are encourage states to use them as often as we can.”

Washington County has been a leader in Minnesota in roundabout education and developed an outreach program to educate drivers called Roundabout U.

Roundabouts across the country are appearing at a rapid pace. Wisconsin has the most roundabouts with 432, and Minnesota, with 252, ranks in the Top 10 nationally.

The roundabout at Hwy. 13 and County Road 21 to be completed by July 2020 is anticipated to reduce traffic delays by 85%, and crashes resulting in serious injuries are expected to drop by 75%, according to Nicole Schmidt, a project spokeswoman. Those are numbers Brainard said should allay Kocon’s fears.

“She will be a lot safer as a driver,” he said “She will learn to love it.”

Copyright - Hall Development Services Inc. 2018