HDSi gains approval for another Apopka Kelly Park neighborhood; October 21, 2020

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.

Talmadge Gardens in Deland, Florida is the next HDSi community; October 1, 2020

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.

HDSi leads approval of O Town West; $1 Billion new mixed use center; June 15, 2020

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.

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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

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.