A property rights law firm that has helped 103 clients assemble 600-plus acres for development in Orlando's tourism corridor is weeks away from applying for two environmental permits.
Processing and approval of those could run through Summer 2017, but marketing has started this month for what is arguably the largest assemblage of undeveloped land off International Drive that can offer hotel, resort, timeshare, residential, office and commercial development options.
Sarasota-based Moore Bowman & Rix, PA (MBR) has been working with clients for the past decade to assemble more than 600 acres of one- to five-acre parcels, which lie southeast of the International Drive-Westwood Boulevard intersection.
Hundreds of acres of former Munger Land Company property were subdivided in the early 20th century and sold to individual investors, often called "paper subdivisions." No roads, utility or sewage infrastructure were laid, and much of it in Orlando is in wetlands, making it a challenge to assemble and develop.
GrowthSpotter reported in late July how the group completed a $1 million land swap with the South Florida Water Management District that helped further its assemblage efforts for private development.
The property now has 330 acres that will meet mitigation/conservation requirements, with 263 acres left for development that will be accessible from a future Westwood Boulevard extension, and possible Lake Bryan Beach Boulevard extension.
The law firm is now in the process of forming an LLC to encompass all the property owners, and in the coming weeks should file a Conservation Area Impact Permit with Orange County, and a Dredge Infill Permit with the Army Corps of Engineers, said Bill Moore, attorney with MBR.
The land is currently zoned Agricultural, and will require rezoning to Planned Development consistent with the Future Land Use Plan.
But much of it is in areas designated Activity Center Mixed Use (ACMU) or Activity Center Residential (ACR) on the Future Land Use Map, categories that would allow high-density projects.
The group has drawn up a conceptual Land Use Plan and Master Plan to show potential buyers what's possible now.
"These concepts would not require a Comprehensive Plan amendment, and they fit within the existing Future Land Use designations," Moore told GrowthSpotter. "That makes it much easier. Not to say a prospective buyer wouldn't want to do something else, they could."
Future development plans will be guided by what buyers consider the highest use, he said. With most of the expansive property's uplands surrounded by preserve area, that relative isolation should be attractive to residential developers.
A conceptual Land Use Plan developed by planner Jeff Rapson of Court Street Partners shows nearly 73 acres have a future land use classification of ACMU, while 155 acres are ACR.
Within the ACMU, 41.4 acres along what would be a Westwood Boulevard extension could be Tourist Commercial, which may include a mix of hotels, retail and office at the the northwest entry point to the property.
Another 23.8 acres to its southeast could be Multifamily, with up to 30 units allowed per acre. The group's conceptual Master Plan floats the idea of a 393-unit apartment complex here, on 18.6 net acres.
Further south in the ACR area, 51.4 acres are projected for more Multifamily with a minimum 20 units per acre. The conceptual MP outlines two more communities totaling 939 apartments, across 44.02 net acres.
And in the property's southwest corner, 100.1 acres designated for Single Family could have 576 townhomes and 420 more apartment flats across 92.8 net acres, per the MP concept.
"This assemblage of individual owners' land holdings provides an exciting opportunity for visionary developers to be in the heart of the Orlando tourist area. Truly exceptional," said Marc Sirkin, senior advisor for Engel & Voelkers out of South Florida, who is marketing the property.
The project's permitting and environmental consultant has been John Miklos of Bio-Tech Consulting.