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One of the nation’s largest owners and developers of for-profit affordable housing has an 18.5-acre site next to Kissimmeee’s Shingle Creek Regional Park under contract for a proposed senior housing development.

Minneapolis-based Dominium is eyeing the site which is located within the approved Shingle Creek Landings Planned Unit Development just east of Old Vineland Road. The PUD comprises 40 acres and received entitlements in 2017 for up to 800 age restricted multifamily units, which could include a combination of condos, timeshares, apartments, short-term rental units, fractional ownership and townhomes.

The owners, Talisman Partners, received height allowance of up to 5 stories in order to achieve the desired density while attempting to protect as many mature trees as possible on the heavily wooded site. The PUD also called for a future assisted-living facility with an on-site restaurant and and a mix accessory commercial uses, light retail, a church and medical offices.

Development associate Devon Quist told GrowthSpotter Dominium was drawn to the location because of its close proximity to Disney. Dominium has two other senior housing projects in the pipeline in the market across from the Solivita retirement community and in East Orlando near UCF. All of the units will be rent-restricted for people who earn 60 percent or less of the area media income.

“The amenities at the Kissimmee project will be very similar to what we are planning at our Orlando and Poinciana projects,” Quist said. ” This includes 2-story clubhouse and entry spaces, a fitness center, salon, theatre, and recreational rooms, as well as plenty of outdoor space including a courtyard, pool, grilling/dining patios, sand bar, dog park, and walking trails.”

Dominium has filed a site plan with the city for Phase 1 of the PUD and is scheduled to go before the Development Review Committee on Tuesday. The plans by Kimley Horn call for a 4-story building with 330 rental units. The developer initially sought approval for a 5-story building but revised the application due to setback requirements. Phil Graham is the landscape architect, and Bessolo Design Group is the architect.

“The whole site is really designed to feel like an amenity – we spend a lot of time on the grand entrance as well as views,” Quist said.

Dominium has been an established multifamily owner-operator in Central Florida for years but only began developing new product here in 2019. The company specializes in developing affordable rental housing for low-income and very low-income seniors using non-competitive 4-percent Low Income Housing Tax Credits and other funding sources.

“We have ample experience with very similar projects in Minnesota (Dominium’s home state), having completed and stabilized 26 of similar affordable housing new construction projects in the Twin Cities using similar methods, financing, and overall execution,” Quist told GrowthSpotter last year. Dominium has expanded the product line to Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Washington, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida. Quist said the company’s financial model works for senior housing especially because Dominum can scale down the size of the apartments without skimping on the finishes, and it can avoid paying school impact fees.

“The Poinciana and Orlando projects are coming along nicely,” Quist said.  I think COVID-19 has really been a big hurdle for a lot of people to get over in the apartment development industry; especially for new senior housing nationally which might be at higher risk than general occupancy.” 

The Talisman property is next to the recently completed 377-unit mixed-income rental community by Atlantic Housing Partners. Vineland Landings, which was built in 2018, has a mix of three-story apartment buildings on the southern half of the property, and a mix of two-story carriage house units and/or single-story villas on the northern half.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with comments from the developer.

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