HDSi is pleased to announce our third anniversary of business. While 2020 will be remembered for a myriad of reasons, to HDSi it was a watershed year of successfully completed projects under stressful conditions. This has continued in 2021 with hopefully the significant reduction of the pandemic as the year progresses. To all of our clients, team members and associated professionals, HDSi proudly congratulates them on jobs well done.
New mixed-use districts in Osceola are being planned for 14,000-plus homes
APR 23, 2021 AT 4:39 PM
Osceola County is wrapping up the master planning effort for its two final mixed-use districts. District 5 abuts the South Lake Toho element, which have already been approved. The 365-acre Yates assemblage, circled in white, could be added to the final plan. (Rj Whidden and Associates). Jim Hall of HDSi represents the largest land owner in the study with over 5,000 acres.
Osceola County is in the final stretch of a two-year planning effort that will determine how large swaths of rural land south of St. Cloud develop over the next decade as the region’s population growth continues at its torrid pace.
The county engaged planning firm RJ Whidden in 2019 to create the Conceptual Master Plan (CMP) for the Mixed-Use Districts 5 and 6, the final two districts in the county’s urban service area. The 8,517-acre study area stretches from the Florida’s Turnpike east along the Alligator Chain of Lakes to U.S. 192 at Old Melbourne Highway.
After a series of online information meetings led by Assistant Community Development Administrator Susan Caswell, the county will host a series of three hourlong in-person open house sessions Tuesday evening, April 27, at the St. Cloud Marina banquet hall beginning at 6 pm to get feedback on the initial draft CMP, which calls for 14,010 residential units in compact, walkable neighborhoods.
“What I mean about walkable is not that they have a sidewalk,” Caswell said. “They need more than that. Basically, they’re designed in a way that you can walk to places.”
Kindred, Tohoqua and Edgewater are three communities in various stages of development within the East of Toho Mixed-Use District. Tavistock Development Group is implementing the county’s Northeast District Element to become its new Sunbridge community.
“These places are interesting. And you know, that’s just a straightforward quality of life issue,” Caswell said. “They function well. They have a mix of uses, they have places to gather. They have nice residential services that serve residential at different scales.”
Some projects within Districts 5 and 6, such as Ameratrail, Lake Gentry Landings and Pine Grove already have approved mixed-use concept plans. Those have already been incorporated into the draft CMP. But adopting a CMP doesn’t necessarily mean the areas will develop any sooner. The Lake Gentry Landings Concept Plan was approved in 2014.
And the massive Green Island Ranch property makes up a large portion of the county’s South Lake Toho Element. It has had entitlements for up to 17,000 residential units since the CMP was adopted in 2009.
“What’s important to understand is this is not a development program. This is a long-term plan,” Caswell said. “We’re not dictating when this area develops. We’re dictating how it develops, so that when that happens, which is more based on market forces than anything we do, it will happen according to the rules we set in place.”
The properties marked blue are already in the mixed use district. The parcels marked yellow currently have Low Density Residential future land use, but they could be added to the district when the conceptual master plan is adopted. (Osceola County)
Some landowners on the western edge of District 5, adjacent to the Green Island Ranch, have inquired about having their property added to the CMP. KPM Franklin’s Murry Bullion represents a local land developer who is under contract for about 365 acres at Canoe Creek Road and Fannie Bass Road.
Several of the parcels in the assemblage are already in the MXD, but the largest parcel, owned by Henry C. Yates, currently has Low Density Residential future land use. It’s just east of the proposed interchange between the Turnpike and future SouthShore Expressway toll road, which calls for a more intense, urban development pattern.
This map shows the proximity of the Yates assemblage to the future turnpike interchange and urban center and future industrial park in the South Lake Toho CMP. (Osceola County)
Bullion told the DRC the buyers want to seek mixed-use future land use and zoning to build a community with up to 1,000 homes.
Bullion told GrowthSpotter they initially looked at doing 3,000 dwelling units but realized that density would be unrealistic, given the amount of floodplains and wetlands on the site. The portions of the site that were included in the study area reserve large amounts for conservation. He said he plans to attend the open house Tuesday and will schedule follow-up meetings with county staff regarding how to incorporate the Yates property in the plan.
The CMP creates a framework for future road networks, including future phases of the Northeast Connector toll road, which would extend from the turnpike north to Nova Road. The Central Florida Expressway Authority is currently conducting a Project Development and Environment study (PD&E) for the NE Connector segment from Nova Road north into Sunbridge.
Caswell said the CMP also would create public parks and nature preserves along the Alligator Chain of Lakes and its canals.
The draft CMP shows a few potential sites for urban centers, but it doesn’t include calculations for future multifamily residential housing, offices or other commercial spaces. Those numbers will be added later, after the public workshops.
After three years of work and negotiation with the City and the School Board, Apopka approved a 202 home neighborhood last night. It is the third project in the Kelly Park area for Jim Hall; two residential neighborhoods as well as a hospital. Kelly Park surrounds the Kelly Park Road/SR 429 interchange. Challenges have included utility funding, revising the City’s Form Based Code and being the first applicant in a large mixed use area scheduled for over 10,000,000 square feet of non-residential uses and thousands of homes and apartments. HDSi represented the land owner and worked closely with the developer of the first neighborhood; DR Horton. The neighborhoods were designed in tandem with shared streets, trails and upland preserves.
500 acres located on International Speedway Boulevard in Deland is the latest design project for HDSi. Primarily a residential community located across from the high school, the housing types range from townhomes and narrow lots on up to estate homes on Lake Talmadge. The neighborhood design emphasizes a walkable community with access to the school and a commercial center. A grid street pattern evolves into a more classic suburban street pattern near the lake and the estate homes.
Zoning approval led by HDSi was granted to Unicorp Development for this massive mixed use center in Orange County, Florida 1 mile north of the Disney World entrance. The I-4 frontage parcels are anchored by the new Marriott timeshare international headquarters in a 25 story building. There is also entertainment and hotel adjacent to the headquarters building. Other uses include dense residential towers and retail related to the tourists. Farther west is a lower density residential community anchored by a Publix shopping center. There is a high school to be developed between the two phases and there is also an adjacent middle school. The new interchange with I-4 to be developed by 2022 makes this mixed use center a dynamic new opportunity.
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.