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Georgia-based multifamily developer RISE: A Real Estate Company just dropped $10.6 million for vacant land in MetroWest, where it is planning to break ground soon on a new luxury apartment complex called West Vue.

Located on the northwest corner of Raleigh Street and South Kirkman Road, the deal gives RISE control of nearly 20 acres of undeveloped land — roughly 2.5 acres of which it plans to place on the market next week for retail development, Vice President of Development Matt Marshall told GrowthSpotter.

The space fronts South Kirkman Road and can fit about 10,000 square feet of retail space. Marshall said he can envision two restaurants at the property. The company is in the midst of contracting a brokerage firm to market the retail component, he said.

Meanwhile, RISE is readying about 17 acres of land for the multifamily portion that will consist of 442 market-rate apartments across five four-story buildings. Marshall said the company plans to break ground next month.

He told GrowthSpotter the project will cost about $58 million to build, and is slated to be complete by early 2021.

Features at West Vue include two swimming pools and an 11,000-square-foot community clubhouse with a large fitness center, common lounge and gaming areas.

The site, once citrus farm land, traded hands for about $540,800 per acre.

Cushman & Wakefield‘s land advisory team consisting of Margery Johnson and Andy Slowik represented the seller, Valencia Properties.

The seller’s company is led by Jane Linton, daughter of the late Finley Hamilton, a local real estate developer known for investing in the International Drive corridor in the 1960’s, shortly after Walt Disney announced plans for a theme park in southwestern Orange County.

Hamilton is also credited for giving International Drive its name. Today the touristy strip entertains visitors from all over the world with its attractions, restaurants, shops and hotels

RISE will handle managing the property in-house. Humphreys & Partners Architects is the assigned architect. Jacksonville-based FaverGray Co. is the contractor and Connelly & Wicker Inc. is the civil engineer.

West Vue will be implementing HPA’s e-Urban community concept, Marshall said. The layout allows all levels of the apartment buildings to be accessible through separate lobbies and elevators placed at each corner of the building.

The multifamily buildings will also have air conditioned corridors, which Marshall called “unique” when compared to typical multifamily designs.

The West Vue apartment project, based near the Valencia College west campus, marks the developer’s entrance to the Central Florida market.

The MetroWest submarket, in particular, has not received much new apartment inventory in the past decade, Marshall said.

“The whole area has been developed. There’s very little vacant land left.”

Just across the site, Equinox Development Properties recently completed the Kirkman Station shopping plaza, which is anchored by a two-story, 38,000-square-foot 24 Hour Fitness. Other tenants include a Bravo Supermarket, Wawa fuel service and convenience store and an Arby’s quick-service restaurant.

Equinox finished selling off the plaza earlier this year for a total of about $20 million.

Marshall said the company is pursuing student housing and market-rate multifamily development opportunities throughout Central Florida.

“We’re making Orlando a big focus,” Marshall said. “We’re spending a lot time there, learning about the communities, looking to do some more projects.”

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