Orlando developer Aamir Waheed is banking on a new wave of development along St. Cloud’s Old Hickory Tree Road corridor with three projects in the pipeline, including a contemporary townhouse community just south of Nolte Road.
“That area is really exploding right now. I think it’s going to be unrecognizable a couple of years from now,” Waheed told GrowthSpotter.
Future projects could include a self-storage facility and a daycare. This week Waheed focused on the townhomes, which are being designed on 9.7 acres just down the street from the Twin Lakes neighborhood. Paul Medley with PNM Architecture is a longtime collaborator with Waheed and took the lead on the project they’re calling Sky Pointe.
The property has Community Center future land use, and initially Waheed looked at doing a small commercial center on the northern 4.5 acres, but he said he couldn’t make the densities work with the required parking for such a small piece.
Last November, he was able to buy the adjacent 4.7-acre parcel for $800,000, bringing his total investment in the site to $1.5 million. By doubling the size of the site, he was able to switch gears from commercial to multifamily. But he didn’t think it was the right location for garden apartments, so he opted for condo townhomes.
“Over here in St. Cloud, they want to have the urban look, so I asked Paul to design something that would be aesthetically pleasing, and he did great work,” Waheed said.
The townhomes are all 3-stories with rear-loaded, two-car garages and about 1,900 square feet of living space. Each unit will have three bedrooms and will be designed to accommodate an elevator. He said the elevator can be installed during the initial construction or added later.
“We kept in mind that here in Florida, there’s a lot of older folks who retire here. And we don’t want to price people out of the market, but for people with disabilities, we want to make sure that option is there if they wanted to install an elevator,” he said. “Nowadays, the elevators are not that expensive. You can get a residential elevator for around $20,000.”
Richard Klar with Osceola Engineering completes the development team.
Osceola County Development Review Committee Chair Jose Gomez complimented the project during a recent pre-application meeting, saying it’s “exactly what we’re looking for.” But he warned the development team to expect opposition from the surrounding neighbors.
“You do still have to go through that rezoning process and that public hearing process,” Gomez said. “You know, this area, as you mentioned earlier is an area that is not yet urban. So there may be some pushback from the community on something like this. I just want to at least let you know that. Yes. from a staff perspective, from a comprehensive plans perspective, from a zoning perspective. It’s everything we’re looking for, for this area.”
Building Official Dirk Clark said the contemporary, 3-story design is unique for Osceola County. “It is very nice, and different from what we’ve seen,” he said. “I think it’s totally approvable from the building code point of view, and it’s a very attractive appearance.”
Medley said they understood that some neighbors would want to keep things status quo. “Originally we were kicking around a flex space commercial kind of thing. And I’m telling you, this will fit so much better,” he said. “If I was living out there, I would like a residential development with families and kids rather than the traffic of a commercial development.”
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