HDSi leads planning for new Unicorp mixed use project; Spetember 4, 2019

Unicorp closes $49M deal for O-Town West land and preps for construction

Unicorp closes $49M deal for O-Town West land and preps for construction
Unicorp National Development is in discussions with a Fortune 500 company to move its headquarters to The Boardwalk at O-Town West. The tenant would lease 250,000 square feet of office space. (Unicorp National Developments)

Two titans of Orlando real estate closed the most expensive land sale of the year on Thursday as $49 million changed hands for the 76 acres in Orlando’s tourism corridor that will be the home of O-Town West.

Seller Daryl Carter told GrowthSpotter it was the final piece of a nearly 200-acre assemblage he began putting together in 2005, and it brings the total sell out price of the acreage to $131 million. Carter is president of Maury L. Carter & Associates.

“It’s been a vision I’ve had for 10 years,” Carter said. “It’s been a lot of work. A lot of blood, sweat and tears. The property is now going to be in the hands of a world-class developer. I’m a very good land guy, but I’m not a world-class developer. Chuck Whittall is.”

Whittall’s Unicorp National Developments has approved plans for a massive mixed-use development that combines over a 1,500 residential units with retail, dining and office space divided among four sub-districts: Village at O-Town West, The Crossings at O-Town West, the Town Center at O-Town West and the Boardwalk at O-Town West.  Hall Development Services inc lead the planning and entitlement process with a team of Kimley Horn and VHB.

The Village at O-Town West will have 80,000 square feet of commercial space and nearly 850 apartments on site.
The Village at O-Town West will have 80,000 square feet of commercial space and nearly 850 apartments on site. (Unicorp National Developments)

Whittall said Unicorp will break ground in 2020 on the residential and retail components of the project. Those include a mix of mid-rise garden-style apartments, lofts, a single-family urban neighborhood and townhomes.

“The apartments and all the retail will be in Phase 1 and then the boardwalk is Phase 2, which includes the water feature,” Whittall said. “We’re building everything in January, we’ll start everything except for the boardwalk. At the boardwalk, we’re negotiating with an office tenant for 250,000 square feet. And so if we get that deal secured, then we’ll start the boardwalk.”

Whittall said Unicorp would move its offices to the boardwalk, but the timing on the project is largely contingent on the lease-up of the balance of the office space.

“It’s a corporate headquarters. And then we’re going put our corporate headquarters there. We’re going to build a hotel there, as well. We’re going to do a Zen Hotel, our own brand – like Zen apartments. That’s the boardwalk, so that’ll really be kind of like Phase 2.”

The O-Town West mixed-use development is composed of four districts and spread over 76 acres. The $49 million sale price is the highest paid for land in Central Florida this year.
The O-Town West mixed-use development is composed of four districts and spread over 76 acres. The $49 million sale price is the highest paid for land in Central Florida this year. (Unicorp National Developments)

Thursday’s transaction surpasses the largest land sale to date – the $40 million Edgewater sale to BTI Partners – which closed one day earlier.

This was the first of four successive closings, totaling $100 million, scheduled for Unicorp over a two-month period, culminating with the purchase of Orlando Fashion Square for $23 million. Whittall said the company helped finance the O-Town deal with proceeds from the sale of its Drake Midtown Apartments at Griffin Farms Town Center in Lake Mary. That property closed on Wednesday for $67.75 million to a real estate fund operated by Deutsch Bank. The other land buys include Celebration Pointe at Disney’s World Drive interchange and a retail parcel in Horizon West.

“We’ll probably build the Disney project, the Horizon West project and O-Town during the year of 2020, and we’ll finish those all in 2021,” Whittall said. “And then I would imagine, we would start Fashion Square, if we make the deal with Bancorp, at the end of 2021. So we pretty much have our 2020-2021 pipeline filled, but we’ll be looking for more things for 2022.”

For Carter and his team, it’s time to celebrate. He plans to take his entire office on a mini-vacation to dinner and a theme park. “It’s a huge deal,” he said. “None of it happens without the team – the pit crew.”

HDSi Working on Apartment Project with Crescent; August 21, 2019

Crescent Communities begins prepping site near Sea World for multifamily development

Crescent Communities begins prepping site near Sea World for multifamily development
Crescent Communities is looking to develop 18 acres of land that sits parallel to I-4, just north of Lake Willis. (Orange County Property Appraiser/GrowthSpotter)

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Crescent Communities has about 18 acres of land under contract just north of Lake Willis as part of efforts to expand its recently launched NOVEL multifamily brand in Orlando’s tourism corridor.

Tim Graff, a managing director at Crescent Communities, oversees sourcing new multifamily development opportunities throughout Florida. According to an application recently filed in Orange County, Graff is working with the property owner, Marriott Vacations Worldwide, to convert the land’s current use from timeshare and commercial to multifamily.  Hall Development Services, inc. is the community planner seeking the entitlement amendment.

The land has been owned by Marriott Vacations Worldwide for more than two decades. It’s part of a nearly 80-acre development site called Interstate 4 Plaza.

Marriot Vacations Worldwide acquired the land in 1997 from the late real estate developer Wendell “Jock” Spears. Since then, it developed the 312-unit Marriott’s Harbour Lake resort at 7102 Grand Horizons Blvd. and sold the northernmost parcel at 11000 Westwood Blvd. to CNL Hospitality Properties in 2000 for $3.4 million. The company went on to develop what is now the Residence Inn by Marriott Orlando at SeaWorld.

Crescent Communities is looking to entitle some 17.7 acres of land north of Marriott’s Harbour Lake resort to accommodate up to 360 apartments.
Crescent Communities is looking to entitle some 17.7 acres of land north of Marriott’s Harbour Lake resort to accommodate up to 360 apartments. (Orange County)

According to the filed Land Use Plan, Crescent Communities is looking to entitle some 17.7 acres of land straddling Grand Horizons Boulevard, parallel to I-4, to accommodate up to 360 apartments.

The site sits across from the former Marriott Grande Pines golf course, where Park Square Homes is developing more than 400 new vacation homes. Other developments in the pipeline include, AdventHealth’s newly proposed emergency building just north of Pulte Homes’ Overlook at Ruby Lake development by the Daryl Carter and Palm parkway intersection.

Last week, GrowthSpotter reported plans by the Altman Companies to develop roughly 34 acres of land located next to where O’Connor Capital Partners is building out its 70-acre Vineland Pointe shopping plaza, into a new 567-unit apartment complex at 10055 Almondwood Circle.

Crescent Communities is known for its luxury apartment developments. In Orlando, it is behind the $75 million Novel Lucerne mixed-use building, which hosts the downtown area’s first Earth Fare grocer. Built in 2018, the mixed-use project features 375 market-rate apartments with an amenity package that includes a fenced dog park, art gallery and 24-hour fitness center that over looks a resort-style pool and pool courtyard.

Crescent Communities is also eyeing a site on Narcoossee Road for a third NOVEL-branded community in Southeast Orlando called “NOVEL Nona.”

The company introduced its NOVEL by Crescent Communities brand identity in 2017 for its multifamily communities. Its development portfolio consists of more than 60 single-family communities, 55 multifamily projects and more than 20 million square feet of commercial space, according to its website.

TOD increasing Rail Station Real estate Values; August 14, 2019

SunRail boosted property values around stations by $2.4B, study says

SunRail boosted property values around stations by $2.4B, study says
This chart provides a picture of how the station area property values have grown over time. From 2011 to 2017, property values grew 23% faster in the station areas (blue) than in the control areas, providing a strong indication that SunRail has contributed to the rapid property value growth in the station areas. (Florida Department of Transportation)

A new study commissioned by the Florida Department of Transportation has confirmed what local transit enthusiasts have promised: SunRail is proving to be a good investment.

Property values around the first 12 stations increased by $2.4 billion (63 percent) from 2011-2017, and FDOT estimates that $1.19 billion of that is directly attributable to SunRail. Each station has drawn new development, and most experienced a sharp increase in property values that outpaced their surrounding areas by nearly 23 percent.

The research team from Florida State University first analyzed the property value impact of SunRail in 2015, but at that time, the system had only been operational for two years. Now, with three more years of data, the team determined that property values in the station areas are escalating at a higher rate as the system matures.

In 2016, for example, the station area property values grew at twice the rate as their surrounding neighborhoods. Last year the station area values grew at seven times the rate of the comparable neighborhoods.

“In this way, SunRail has provided promising indications that it may continue to spur development and boost local property values in the coming years,” it found.

Investment and appreciation around the stations has generated $18 million in taxable revenue for the local jurisdictions. But higher property values haven’t always translated to increased revenues because so much of the property around the two hospital stations is tax exempt.

Like its companion ridership study by MetroPlan Orlando, the property value analysis did not take into account the SunRail’s southern extension, which opened this past summer. It also doesn’t count new Transit Oriented Development projects until they come on the tax roll, so major projects like Maitland Station Apartments are not included.

The Church Street station area ranked first system wide with a 125-percent increase in property value over the seven-year study period. But that number was buoyed in 2012 by the opening of Amway Center, which accounted for $275 million of the $333 million in new property value for that year.

The overwhelming majority of new value — 95 percent — has been centered around the Orange County stations. The five station areas in Seminole and Volusia counties gathered a combined $102.1 million in property values, with a decline of $543 thousand in the Altamonte Springs station area.

The suburban stations, while not experiencing the massive influx of new development seen in downtown Orlando and Winter Park, nevertheless saw “notable shifts in development patterns” away from single family homes to multifamily and mixed-use apartments.

HDSi leading residential deals near Disney; July 25, 2019

Tampa developer teams up with Greystar on new multifamily project near Disney parks

Tampa developer teams up with Greystar on new multifamily project near Disney parks
Conceptual elevations for proposed Elan Cypress Pointe apartment community at 11907 Ruby Lake Rd. (Orange County)

An affiliate of the Tampa-based homebuilder Bering Homes is teaming up with Greystar Real Estate Partners to develop a new luxury multifamily project near the Disney parks.

According to a recently submitted Development Plan filed in Orange County, the partners are seeking to build a 380-unit apartment complex at 11907 Ruby Lake Rd., just south of Lake Ruby.

The property is part of a nearly 18-acre land assemblage that is currently owned by Diamond Resorts Cypress Pointe III Development LLC, which is an entity linked to Las Vegas-based Diamond Resorts.

The timeshare company inherited the property in 2007 as part of its $700 million acquisition of Sunterra Corp.

A site plan for Elan Cypress Pointe development
A site plan for Elan Cypress Pointe development (Orange County)

The most recently submitted DP replaces previous entitlements that called for 420 timeshare units and up to 30,000 square feet of commercial space.

Diamond Resorts has been trying to do away with its previous uses since late last year.

In January, GrowthSpotter reported on a Land Use Plan, filed by HDSi on behalf of Bering Homes affiliate Bering I LLC, that requested the property be incorporated into the Sunterra Resort PD and that county officials replace previously adopted timeshare uses with multifamily development uses.

The company also sought several waivers in respect to parking, building height and building separation to neighboring residential properties, among other waiver requests.

The most recently submitted DP lists Greystar as its developer. The multifamily development and property management firm is working with Bering Homes’ Chad R. O’Brien to develop a garden-style apartment community under its Elan multifamily brand.

Bering entered the Orlando market last year when it bought and resurrected a defunct vacation home resort development in the Four Corners area near ChampionsGate.

The Sunterra project, dubbed Elan Cypress Pointe, would consist of 10 apartment buildings, three designated park areas and a clubhouse with a pool. A good amount of its units face a pond, which also serves as its storm water management area.

Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. is the civil engineer and landscape architect. The partners tapped Charlan Brock and Associates to design the apartment community.

According to Greystar’s website, Elan communities are strategically located near shopping and dining destinations, as well as places of work.

In the case for Elan Cypress Pointe, developers will likely aim to benefit off its proximity to job creators, like the ever-expanding theme parks by Walt Disney Company, Universal Parks & Resorts and SeaWorld Entertainment.

In addition, AdventHealth recently released plans for a new emergency building by the Daryl Carter Parkway and Palm Parkway intersection.

The future construction of an I-4 interchange and the 1.6-mile extension of Daryl Carter Parkway that will link Palm Parkway to S. Apopka-Vineland Road has also helped fuel development in the area.

Nearby, Pulte Homes  completed several residential developments on more than 100 acres of land surrounding Ruby Lake, including Phillips Grove and Ruby Lake by Pulte Homes. The home builder is currently developing a new 20-unit townhome community called Overlook at Ruby Lake.  HDSi lead the entitlement amendment for Ruby Lake for Unicorp.

O’Connor Capital Partners recently delivered the first phase of the Vineland Pointe shopping plaza, bringing in tenants such as Lucky’s Market, Marshall’s, Ross and Burlington. Plans for the remaining two phases have indicated the developer is seeking lease deals with Target and a movie theater chain.

Last month, GrowthSpotter reported that Boca Raton-based Altman Companies landed a contract deal to buy roughly 34 acres of land next to the plaza, with plans for a 567-unit apartment project at 10055 Almondwood Circle.

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Crescent Communities is also looking to develop luxury apartments. Plans call for up to 360 multifamily units on about 18 acres of land it has under contract just north of Lake Willis.  The planner for the entitlement amendment is Hall Development Services, inc.

The development is part of its efforts to expand its recently launched NOVEL multifamily brand in Orlando’s tourism corridor.

O Town West gains zoning approval; June 4, 2019

The Orange County Board of County Commissioners approved the zoning for Unicorp’s O Town West.  This $1 Billion project includes 1,300 residential units, a marketplace, some service uses and an entertainment complex anchored by a 3 acre active water feature and cinema.  HallDSi provided entitlement services for a comprehensive plan amendment and rezoning.  Right of way vacations and two out parcels provided complications which were successfully negotiated to allow the rezoning.

Unicorp's O Town West

HDSi completes zoning for D R Horton; May 21, 2019

Osceola approves rezoning for D.R.Horton subdivision

|MAY 21, 2019
Osceola County Commissioners approved the rezoning of this 42-acre parcel on Monday for a new D.R. Horton
subdivision. (Osceola County)
Osceola County Commissioners on Monday approved a rezoning for a new D.R.Horton subdivision in the East Narcoossee area. The homebuilder was seeking Low Density Residential zoning for 42 acres at the end of Oesterle Road, east of Zuni Road, and south of Cyrils Drive. It was part of an larger assemblage totaling 108 acres, the balance of which is already zoned LDR. The zoning would allow a minimum of 324 single family homes or a max of 864.
Osceola’s Land Development Code requires a minimum of three housing product types for all subdivisions with more than 100 lots.
Land Planner Jim Hall represented the homebuilder during a pre-application meeting in January where he discussed plans for the new subdivision. Horton would join several other production builders who have invested in the East Narcoossee area around Zuni Road. Those include KB Homes and Royal Oak Homes. Horton has been active in the greater St. Cloud/Narcoossee market. The homebuilder assembled 22 acres in the East Narcoossee community last year for a new 96-lot subdivision called Barrington. Horton is also actively building in
Osprey Ridge, a 99-lot community on Boggy Creek Road, and in Canopy Walk in St. Cloud.

Jim Hall presents metropolitan historic development trends to NAIOP

Jim Hall, along with former County Commissioner Bill Segal, former County Comptroller Martha Haynie and broker extraordinaire Trevor Hall, presented to a packed house at the Varsity Club in Camping World Stadium.  The panel discussion focused on significant development events in Orlando’s history; Disney, Martin Marietta, the Convention Center along with stories of the people who made the development happen.  Adult beverages and heavy appetizers enticed social mingling leading to the 45 minute presentation followed by questions. Thanks to Trevor and NAIOP for hosting the event.

Orlando Housing Market Remains Hot; April 22, 2019

10 Best Markets for Home Buyers

Of the 10 metro areas that have the best conditions for buyers as home-shopping season approaches, three are in Florida – Miami, Tampa and Orlando – but the best market overall for buyers is New York, according to the Zillow Buyer-Seller Index.

It’s not that New York is all that affordable: Its median home value in January was $438,300, almost double the U.S. median of $225,300. But other aspects of the New York market are a boon to buyers who can afford it. For example, among the largest 35 metros, it has the longest number of days on the market, at 132 days. The next longest time on market is 102 days in Chicago. It’s followed by Miami, at 99 days.

Two other Florida metros – Tampa and Orlando – rank in the top five for the share of listings with a price cut, a pro-buyer characteristic. In Tampa, 23.2 percent of listings received a price cut in January. In Orlando, it was 20.4 percent.

The third metric in the buyer-seller index is the sale-to-list-price ratio. A ratio above 100 percent indicates that buyers are paying more than list price. The further the ratio falls below 100 percent, the better the market is for buyers – because they’re paying that much less than list, which would be 100 percent even. The lowest ratios among the largest metros are Pittsburgh, at 93.7 percent, Miami at 93.9 percent and Chicago at 94.2 percent.

We’ve also published a list of best markets for sellers.


Orlando #2 Housing Market in the US

Job Opportunities Drive Hottest U.S. Markets for 2019

  • Four of the five hottest markets offer more job opportunities per person than 42 other major metros.
  • With strong projected home value growth and the strongest job numbers, San Jose, Calif., again ranks as the hottest market in U.S.
  • Markets that will continue to face challenges in 2019 are Cleveland and Hartford, Conn., as well as three large metros in the South: New Orleans, Memphis, Tenn., and Birmingham, Ala.

While the U.S. housing market is cooling in some ways, certain markets are red hot – fueled by rapid home value and rent appreciation, job opportunities, income growth and low unemployment.

Much like last year, San Jose, Calif., is poised to be the nation’s hottest market in 2019. Driven by an abundance of job opportunities per person, the nation’s lowest unemployment rate, still-climbing household income and enduring housing cost appreciation, the South Bay Area metro finds itself at the top of Zillow’s list of hottest markets for 2019.

Home values in San Jose rose more than 10 percent last year and are expected to grow by 12.7 percent this year – although that forecast could turn quickly as last month’s numbers disappointed expectations. Rents actually fell very slightly in the San Jose area over the past year, but going forward are expected to grow by 2.1 percent over the coming year. But as real estate values continue to grow, housing affordability in the area has become a challenge even for those earning a hefty tech salary. Population growth has slowed and for-sale inventory is on the rise (from historic lows), which may slow growth in the future.

HDSi’s first Apopka project approved; March 11, 2019

More than 150 homes are planned for Apopka, all that’s left is a homebuilder

More than 150 single-family homes are planned for the city of Apopka as part of a new community called Bridal Path.

The BurnBrae Companies, a real estate investment, development, and management company headquartered in Washington, D.C., put the development plan together.

Principal Rich Thometz said the project would be 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 Apopka City Commission voted unanimously on Mar. 6 to approve the final development plan and plat for Bridal Path. The project is located at 5526 Plymouth Sorrento Rd., just east of SR 429.

The site sits across from where the nonprofit health care provider Orlando Health recently paid $2.34 million for roughly 50 acres of land for an envisioned medical campus.

Through its affiliate BB Bridle Path LLC, BurnBrae paid about $2.6 million for the 51.1-acre property in September.

The firm worked in conjuction with Jeb Bittner of Gravity Land Development of Vero Beach, and tapped Vanasse Hangen Brustlin (VHB) as its civil engineer, surveyor and landscape architect.  HallDSi was lead planner.

A site plan for Bridal Path shows a mix of 50- and 55-foot lots. Amenities include a pool and cabana.

The company does not have a builder under contract, but Thometz said he expects shovels in the ground by early Summer.

BurnBrae specializes in opportunistic land, residential and commercial investment deals in the Mid-Atlantic region. The company has completed or is in the developing phases of more than 1,000 residential lots. According to its website it has $150 million in equity under management.

“Trevor Hall of Colliers International pointed us to the site and showed us there was an opportunity,” Thometz said, underlining the opening of the Kelly Park Road interchange.

It’s 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 Interstate 4, and relieve US 441, SR 46 and other area roads of traffic congestion, but professionals in the industry say it’s also opening up a wealth of real estate opportunities.

Nearby to Bridal Path, a Longwood-based developer is close to breaking ground on a new retail project called Gateway Plaza.

The project features more than 32,000 square feet of retail space on 3.36 acres of land situated on the northwest corner of E. Lester and Rock Springs roads.

Directly behind where Gateway Plaza will rise, a 112-lot residential community being developed by K Hovnanian is underway.