The owners of the Baldwin Point office building that overlooks Lake Baldwin are seeking approval from the City of Orlando to build a 5-story apartment building on its enormous parking lot.
Parkway Property Investments and TriGate Securities paid $35.5 million in 2021 for the 165,000-square-foot office building at 2420 S. Lakemont Ave. despite reduced demand for office space post-COVID. At the time of the acquisition, the partners noted the potential to add infill multifamily housing on the 9-acre site made the deal especially attractive.
Now the JV has filed a master plan for the 305-unit multifamily building just north of Blue Jacket Park, which bisects the master-planned community. The building would have an attached, 6-level parking garage to accommodate both the residents and office workers.
Christopher Wang, director of investments for Parkway, told GrowthSpotter that Baldwin Point is approaching 90% occupancy, but on most days the surface parking lot is largely empty. COVID has permanently altered the office work paradigm, leaving buildings in the suburbs and downtown business districts with excess parking.
“You’re seeing a lot of office buildings that are just way overparked in terms of how many parking spaces are offered for office use,” he said. “And what you have now in a lot of suburbia is these large office properties that are just basically mostly vacant parking lots, right? And we feel like that is something that as a society and as a country we need to address, and there are ways of improving upon this status quo such that not only can we provide, in this case, a really nice brand new structured parking garage for our office tenants that shields them from the heat and the elements, like rain during the rainy season in Florida. But because of this densification, we’re also able to offer much-needed rental housing, in what we believe is one of the best neighborhoods and all of Orlando: Baldwin Park.”
The building design from Forum Architecture & Interior Design maximizes the views of Blue Jacket Park with four wings that extend south to create a primary entrance off Upper Park Road and two large amenity courtyards. The double-height clubhouse space opens up onto the pool courtyard. The central courtyard functions as the main entrance and exit to the garage, along with visitor parking and access to the leasing office. The third courtyard will house a second amenity space with landscaped gardens and sidewalks.
“We really wanted to integrate this building into the natural environment right there,” Wang said. “And we really want to make this sort of outdoors. environment as beneficial as possible for our residents, such that it really encourages them to spend time outside — whether it’s just for leisure or even for those that choose to work from home so that they can feel like they can go outdoors and feel very comfortable. So we’re going to do some really cool improvements, especially in the outdoor areas so our residents have that ability to use each of those courtyards.”
The developer collaborated with Forum to select a coastal, Nantucket-style of architecture that pays homage to Baldwin Park’s history as a former naval base. Kimley Horn served as the civil engineer and landscape architect.
“We certainly want to deliver a project that that the residents of Baldwin Park can look at and be proud of and think it’s additive to the neighborhoods. So, again, we really love the neighborhood,” Wang said.
Parkway led the development of the Lake Mary Wellness & Technology Park, an $800M mixed-use project containing Orlando Health’s Medical Campus with a 240-bed hospital, 20,000-square-foot emergency room, and a helicopter pad. The Park also includes more than 600,000 square feet of Class A office space, 190,000 square feet of medical office space, a 212-bed assisted living and memory care facility, a 120-room Hilton hotel, and 50 high-end townhomes. Parkway co-developed the Class A Helix at Lake Mary apartments, which sold last October at 98% occupancy for $125.1 million.
Parkway also broke ground in 2022 on a new 300-unit apartment community at Johns Lake Landing on State Road 50 in Clermont. Parkway consultant Rich Toomey told GrowthSpotter the first units would be available in spring 2024. The developer completed the build-out of the community by selling the remaining residential lots David Weekley Homes. The commercial lots were sold to Ashley Furniture, Rooms To Go Patio, O2B Kids Day Care and Learning Centers and Wendy’s.
Baldwin Point would be the second new apartment community added to the master-planned community, following the recently approved project from Gables Residential at 1801 Prospect Ave. That community also includes a 5-story apartment building with structured parking on property in the Village Center that was once used for a credit union.
The master plan was approved after the developer relocated the garbage collection and move-in staging area off Prospect Avenue at the request of city staff.
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