Local developer Mark Kinchla could start pre-sale marketing this month on another luxury townhome infill project in downtown Orlando, confident that unobstructed views of Lake Eola will command more than $1 million per unit.
Standing five stories and dubbed the "Fountain VU 5," the planned five new townhomes would be in the Lake Eola Heights District and offer a clear view of Eola's central fountain from each unit's fourth floor.
The VU townhomes would include three bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths, a residential elevator in each, the top floor as master bedroom, and a rooftop terrace with permanent shade structure.
Each home would have 4,100 square feet with two-car garages on individual fee-simple lots. The architecture is currently being reviewed through the city's Architectural Review Board.
Kinchla has developed multiple residential infill projects in downtown Orlando in recent years, most notably renovating the former United Pentecostal Church near Lake Eola into the upscale Samsara townhomes.
Located at 330 Broadway Ave., the 0.24-acre parcel was formerly owned by local attorney Gary Boynton and home to his private practice and a few other law counselors.
"I met Mark (Kinchla) through a mutual friend and was told he was a good developer. I wanted only the best to happen to my property," Boynton told GrowthSpotter. "After you've owned land like that for 30 years it's hard to give it up, but I saw the renovation he did of the old church near Lake Eola and felt he's the right guy."
Kinchla's Fountain VU LLC paid $830,000 for the site on Jan. 22. Boynton will continue leasing the small office building from Kinchla for the time being until demolition and new development plans are approved by the city. He'll then relocate his law practice to Winter Park.
Kinchla filed a Master Plan with the city of Orlando in late January for the five townhomes, and is requesting two variances for setback reductions on the south and west side.
Pre-sale marketing should start this month on the five townhomes with the price starting at $1.1 million, said Kathy Kinchla, Mark's wife and an associate with Keller Williams Realty.
The final townhome at Samsara sold last year for $1.425 million, a price point Kathy expects the VU units to eventually meet.
Construction will start some time later this year on the VU site regardless of buyer interest, she said, but the pre-construction sales for Samsara make Kinchla confident demand will emerge for the VU units.
"With Samsara we marketed early and sold three while in the demo phase, so people really got to customize those," Kinchla said. "I think for this price range and uniqueness of the VU site people will want to personalize it, so we'll probably finish the first like we did at the church, and then let (buyers) build them out with their own personality.
"With everything new going on downtown and only five of these offering an unobstructed view of the Lake Eola fountain, I think people will want to call this home," she continued. "With a very walkable location and all-block construction, this will be unique and luxurious. There's no other five-story townhomes project like this here, you see these most often in older buildings in New York City and Boston."
Kinchla sourced a $1.5 million loan from Orlando-based D&S Investment Capital LLC, an investment vehicle of Douglas Doudney, to finance the land purchase at a 12 percent interest rate.
Kinchla's other big townhome project downtown is his "Fern Creek 20" townhomes, fronting N. Fern Creek Avenue in the Colonialtown Mills 50 arts district. Construction on the first phase of 10 is underway and all are under contract, Kathy Kinchla said.
"We'll release the second phase of Fern Creek for sale some time this spring," she said. "Those should start in the $425,000 range, without an elevator."