Elevation Development is planning to build 10 Phil Kean-designed townhomes in downtown Orlando's North Quarter/Park Lake Highland neighborhood. It's one of two small-scale residential projects planned at the corner of N. Magnolia Avenue and Marks Street.
Elan Residences is one of two small-scale, luxury housing developments now planned in downtown Orlando's North Quarter district, at the intersection of N. Magnolia Avenue and Marks Street.
Ray Design Development and Soten Enterprise are proposing a 15-unit multifamily building at the hard corner, while the 10-unit Elan Residences would be constructed next door at 110 and 114 Marks St. Both developers took the projects through a courtesy review Thursday with the city's Appearance Review Board and received positive feedback.
Mark Arnold, broker for KW Commercial, represents the owner of the brownstone site, which had been approved for construction in 2016 by custom home builders Tracey Smith and Michael Madden. But the reconstruction and closure of Marks Street caused delays, and they never closed on the property.
Elevation Managing Partner Owais Khanani told GrowthSpotter Arnold approached him about the property during an ICSC deal making event, and he was immediately interested.
"Once you know Phil Kean is involved in the architecture, you know the project is going to be Class A," he said. "We haven't done home construction, but we decided to go for it. It was an easy sell, and we managed to put a team together pretty quickly."
Each unit would have a two-car garage with optional electric car charging station, a gourmet kitchen with Viking appliances, two bedrooms with optional third bedroom on the top floor, 3.5 bathrooms and a private elevator to the 380-square-foot rooftop terrace.
The ARB suggested making a few design changes to enhance the view of the property from Marks Street, such as moving the front doors on the end units to Marks and wrapping the balcony around the corner.
The previous builders had marketed the townhomes at an $850,000 price point. Khanani said his team from Logan Construction Group was able to value-engineer the project, shaving at least $150,000 per unit from the sales price.
"If it was in Winter Park, you could easily get $850,000 for a Phil Kean brownstone," he said. "For this location, $650,000 to $700,000 is right in the sweet spot."
Khanani and Ray agreed that bringing the two projects forward at the same time can create a synergy and they can complement each other.
Ray's M15 project is also designed at 4-stories with a mix of covered and open parking. The 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom units will be elevator-served and will share a rooftop balcony looking south toward downtown.
Architect Brian Ray said the development team hasn't settled on whether to make it a rental complex or take it condo. The unit count also could change if they decide to combine some of the 1-bedroom units into larger apartments.
The ARB discussed the project at length and gave the designer often conflicting messages. While they all endorsed the project's scale and massing, individual members disagreed on whether it should be oriented with the front entrance on Magnolia rather than Marks.
"If I'm a resident of the building, I would want the entrance to be on Marks Street as it's designed," ARB member Margaret Brock said, noting that the view across Magnolia is to a parking garage of the Wells Fargo building.
Ray's extended cutout along the rooftop facing Magnolia also generated mixed reviews. Some members loved it, especially when Ray said he intended to add accent lighting. Architect Fulvio Romano said he thought it was one idea too many.
"I really like the elevation," he said. "I think there's a lot of good things happening. But I don't like the void. I think it's too much going on, especially if you add lighting."