Developer pursues assemblage, mixed-use apartment tower in Downtown Orlando

Illinois-based multifamily developer Banner Real Estate Group is pursuing its market entry to Central Florida with a proposed six-parcel assemblage in Downtown Orlando a block northwest of Lake Eola, and initial plans for a 13-story mixed-use tower. 

The proposal is very early-stage, with a height, unit count and design that is likely to change in the coming months as Banner receives input from the city and area stakeholders, Director of Development Tom Suminski told GrowthSpotter on Wednesday.

"This is still a long ways out, we haven’t pursued yet a full concept of what this project will be," he said. "We're looking at several iterations of what this may look like."

Located at 108 E. Livingston St., on the southeast corner with N. Rosalind Avenue, a vacant lot and five parcels directly east are proposed for the assemblage, totaling about 1.4 acres.

Between them runs an offshoot of N. Rosalind Avenue, from E. Livingston to Ridgewood streets, totaling about 0.385 acres that the applicant is asking the city to abandon. 

Banner is a multifamily owner-operator with approximately 6,000 units nationally, and has development branches for apartments and self-storage. It's presence in Florida has been just in self-storage to this point. 

"I love the job growth and the development mindset in Orlando, and like what's already happened development-wise in office, retail and entertainment," Suminski said. "I'm a big believer in the growth of downtowns being the strongest engine of growth for any metro area, and that seems to be repeating itself throughtout the Southeast. I love that (Rosalind Avenue) site, and there's lots of opportunity downtown."

Banner filed requests on April 19 with the City of Orlando via civil engineer and landscape architect Kimley-Horn, which included an abandonment request for the strip of road, and a Planned Development rezoning request for the various properties to allow for multifamily. 

The project, as now described, would include the 13-story tower with 325 units, a five-level parking garage, and 4,500 square feet of ground floor flex space for office or retail. Public open space would be designed on the property's corners facing N. Rosalind Avenue. 

Those specs for the building likely will change, Suminski said. A final Development Plan won't be filed for another five to six months as Banner moves through the review process of its rezoning request, and gets feedback from local stakeholders and its own investment partners.

The applicant is requesting a density bonus for the development, for allowable units to rise from 200 per acre to 400. As currently described, the height of the tower would be stepped downward, starting at 13 stories on the west along Rosalind Avenue, and decreasing as it approached single-family homes to the east.

The parking garage would be on the eastern side of the property, on parcels now zoned as Office Medium. The proposed garage height would stay within norms for that zoning.  

Kimley-Horn's Brooks Stickler also filed an affidavit with the city naming him as authorized representative for the six property owners, a mix of small business entities and family trusts. 

One of those property owners is an affiliate of the Orlando office of AGPM, a multifamily owner, operator and developer. 

AGPM's property is one of only two within the assemblage that has active tenants, in their case some above-garage apartments and a small attorney's office. 

Company president Scott Zimmerman told GrowthSpotter he's happy with the income-producing property, but is participating in Banner's assemblage effort "because we thought it would be good for the whole community to have a nice, quality apartment complex there." 

The owner of the largest parcel on the hard corner is an affiliate of Inversiones Nuevo Stiro S.A.S, a Colombian real estate and financial management company.

Banner's development focus is Class A multifamily, assembling real estate at below market cost in locations with strong job growth, and utilizing pre-fabricated and designed metal construction technology.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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