Boca Raton developer David Hirschfeld is pledging to offer a mix of affordable and market-rate apartments in what would be the first high-rise mixed-use tower in the heart of Parramore.
Hirschfeld’s Deerfield Investments has applied for Planned Development zoning and a courtesy review from the city’s Appearance Review Board later this month for the proposed 17-story DXV Central tower at the northwest corner of Division Avenue and Central Boulevard, situated between the Orlando Magic Sports & Entertainment District and Creative Village.
The project was first reported by GrowthSpotter, and Hirschfeld spoke to us exclusively on Thursday. He said he initially looked at doing just residential, but changed course after deciding that adding commercial office space and abundant parking would maximize the value of the 1-acre site.
“The parcel is now occupied by four warehouses," he said. “We just look at that site as being a gateway to the Parramore community, and we’re very aware of what that means and trying to provide a building that would complement what is being done at Creative Village and the SED.”
One of the main goals of the development is to promote the Parramore area as a great place to work and live, he said. “The development team intends on working closely with city of Orlando staff and officials to provide opportunities that will benefit and offer portions of the retail spaces to small businesses within the Parramore community.”
The working name for the $62 million building is DXV Central, based on the Roman numerals for the street address, 515 W. Central Blvd.. Hirschfeld said he hopes to start construction in late second quarter of 2020 with delivery scheduled for early 2022.
The development plan calls for 189 apartments – most of which would be studio units ranging from 402 to 582 square feet – with rents starting at $850.
“My vision in that regard was to offer a product, as you can see with the size of my units, to offer product, that’s not readily available in the marketplace pretty much anywhere in Orlando," he said. "I’ve done some extensive research on that. I don’t believe this is considered a micro-unit, I look at it as workforce housing.”
Hirschfeld said the studios would have a movable wall unit to add flexibility and privacy.
“We could have done more one-bedroom units with the same square footage, but I like the open floorplan,” he said. And he believes they will appeal to Millennials who put a premium on social spaces and amenities.
The plan includes 31 one- and two-bedroom units, maxing out at 891 square feet. Hirschfeld said he intends to work with Orlando’s CRA and Affordable Housing Department to provide units with reduced rents that would be accessible for people earning less than 65 percent of the average medium income for Orange County.
The project would include structured parking with 417 parking spaces, 11,500 square feet of ground floor retail and terrace space, 76,850 Class “A” leasable office space. The commercial office component comprises floors 8 through 11, with suites ranging from 2,500 to 25,500 square feet.
Deerfield is hoping to dedicate up to 15,000 square feet of the commercial space to a co-working concept. “We want this to be a true live-work environment," Hirshfeld said.
The developer also plans to reserve up to 15 percent of the retail space for local small businesses already serving the Parramore neighborhood.
Both commercial and residential tenants would have access to the building’s 15,000-square feet of amenity space. Highlights include a fitness center with lockers and dry sauna, entertaining space, a coffee bar, gaming lounge and business center. There’s also a rooftop pool with private cabanas and a 3,500-square-foot terrace with a yoga lawn and dog park with grooming station.
Office tenants would have the option of claiming private terraces on the eighth floor, as well.
“The whole idea is to provide exceptional amenities so people would be able to congregate and utilize those common areas,” Hirschfeld said. “We think it will give us a competitive advantage.”
Miami-based Idea Architecture is the project architect, and LB Construction is the general contractor. Since Deerfield is seeking a density bonus, the city will require the developer to provide a public art component and exceptional architecture. Hirschfeld said he thinks the design by Idea’s Stephane L’Ecuyer is progressive without being overbearing.
“We think it will complement what [Orlando Magic] is doing,” Hirschfeld said. “We think the way we have designed the garage and the exterior of the garage is very unique. I don’t think you’ll see that anywhere else in the city. We could have done screens, and we said no, we’re not going to do that. So we do think there are some artistic elements that are different from what has been presented and what has been built in the past."
The parking will be valet served, which makes the building attractive for office and retail users, as well as visitors to Amway Center and Orlando City Soccer Stadium.
“For night games, the office users will be gone so we will offer valet parking,” Hirschfeld said. “I have to monetize my parking, and that’s the way we’re going to do it.”
The DXV Central tower is slated to go to the city’s Municipal Planning Board and Appearance Review Board in October. Hirschfeld said he hopes to have the PD approval by January but realizes that’s an aggressive schedule. The construction schedule would rely on pre-leasing of a significant portion of the commercial office space.
“On the residential side, I believe if we build this I won’t have any problem leasing it,” he said. “ The projections from brokers and from people that are in the multifamily sector, have said that we should be able to lease this within nine to 12 months from the entire 189 units."
Hirschfeld lived in Orlando in the early 1990s while serving as vice president of real estate lending for First Union National Bank before relocating to South Florida. He left the banking industry in 2001 to become chief financial advisor at LB Construction, where he underwrote construction loans and for over $250 million and served as project manager on numerous developments. This is the team’s first development in Central Florida.