The longtime owner of a downtown site that was previously approved for a 24-story luxury condo tower filed a new master plan with City of Orlando for a mixed-use residential tower with retail and a full-service luxury hotel component.
The “Monarch” name and the height are about the only things that weren’t changed in the plan by The Jaymor Group.
The Toronto-based developer acquired the .9-acre site at 322 E. Jackson St. 15 years ago and has held onto the property as values around it soared.
“I never planned on hanging onto this for this period of time,” Jaymor President Fab Lucchese said. “It just seemed to work out that way. Our plan obviously was to buy the land and take it to development, and successfully sell it out as a condominium project back in the day.”
The Monarch project was shovel ready in 2006, approved for 179 condos with a small amount of ground floor retail use, when Jaymor pulled the plug on it just before the real estate market collapsed. The company returned the deposits from prospective buyers.
Lucchese told GrowthSpotter the market fundamentals that first drew him to the site, which is right off the S.R. 408 exit ramp at South Street, are even stronger today – especially with the addition of the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center and Amway Center.
“A lot of the things we thought were going to happen did happen,” he said. “So here we are now taking advantage of being in an area where now we have the ability to add intensity to create a really unique mixed-use opportunity. We’re really excited about the possibility, and the product is quite different from what we had before.”
The new plan calls for a luxury apartment community and full-service lifestyle hotel with shared amenities and services. The initial concept, developed by Baker Barrios, allows for up to 380 rental apartments.
The hotel could be a boutique concept with up to 130 rooms or a national brand with 200 rooms. It will have a restaurant on the main floor and the roof level, meeting and banquet space, a spa and at least one pool.
“Everything is in flux now,” Lucchese said. “We’ve received expressions of interest from a couple of different groups.”
John Awsumb, Jaymor’s vice president for U.S. Development, said the company recently broke ground on a 250-key Marriott Autograph Collection marina hotel in Daytona Beach. The developer’s vision is to extend the hospitality experience to the building’s permanent residents. The wellness center will be open to both, as will the pools and lounge areas.
“The residents will be able to utilize the valet parking, room service and housekeeping as a la cart services,” Lucchese added.
Baker Barrios Creative Director Wayne Dunkelberger said the residents will have their own private lobby and elevators. The building is designed so the elevation facing north is all residential.
“You get more of an urban feel, and it’s the better view,” he said.
The view from South Street is just as important, because it’s the gateway to downtown. Dunkleberger said they added a waterfall feature on the amenity deck over the parking garage that can be seen from the street level.
The overall design concept is sleek, modern and inviting. “We have these glass vertical elements that go throughout the building and make a two-story glass top on the roof,” Dunkleberger said. “There’s not really anything like it downtown.”
The apartments will have 10-foot ceilings and balconies. The parking structure will be wrapped with residential units on the north side, so it won’t be visible from Jackson Street, and those units will have direct access from a reserved parking space.
“So they won’t have to take an elevator,” Lucchese said. “And now, in this new COVID world, not having to get into an elevator might be a nice little bonus for those extra units.
The residential community will be pet friendly, as well.
The new master plan would go to the Municipal Planning Board in August and to Orlando City Council in September. Jaymor is seeking a density bonus that would cap the number of residential units at 380.
Dunkleberger said he would submit a more detailed rendering to the Appearance Review Board in a few weeks to request a courtesy review in August.