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Atlanta developer floats plan for 697 apts in heart of Universal Blvd (Updated)

Atlanta developer floats plan for 697 apts in heart of Universal Blvd (Updated)
Highlighted in blue is the 63-acre Orlando Equity Partners-owned parcel on Universal Boulevard, where Davis Development is proposing an apartments project on 25 acres in the parcel's northeast corner. (Orange County Property Appraiser)

Atlanta-based Davis Development is mulling 697 apartment units in the heart of rapidly developing Universal Boulevard, and met with Orange County staff Wednesday morning to learn how entitlements are transferred if they buy the land, and how the future I-Drive Vision Plan code may impact their plans.

The developer, builder and manager of apartment communities provided a conceptual site plan last week to Orange County planners, which would be on 25 acres that neighbor the proposed sites of Topgolf, Andretti Indoor Karting & Games and Empire Equities' potential Le Meridian hotel.

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Davis Development misprinted on its application last week that this project was for 697 "timeshare resort/rental units." Company representatives corrected that description on Wednesday as standard "apartments."

A preliminary site plan for Davis Development's proposed 697 timeshare/resort rental units project on Universal Boulevard.
A preliminary site plan for Davis Development's proposed 697 timeshare/resort rental units project on Universal Boulevard. (Lee and Associates)

Located north of the Las Palmeras by Hilton Grand Vacations timeshare hotel at 9501 Universal Blvd., the project's footprint would occupy the northeast corner of a 63.77-acre parcel owned by Orlando Equity Partners LLC, an affiliate of Southwood Development Company in Atlanta.

Davis does not have the land under contract with OEP, and their plan has not formally entered the county's review process.

The property is zoned within the Universal Boulevard PD. The 25 acres would have to be subdivided from OEP's large parcel, and Davis Development must be granted coverted entitlements for apartment use from OEP.

Davis' conceptual site plan proposes 344 units in Phase 1 covering 12.84 acres, and 353 units in Phase 2 on 12.16 acres, with six clusters of four-story buildings.

The company has hired Stantec Consulting Services of Sarasota to walk its Development Plan application through Orange County approval. Representatives of Davis and Stantec declined comment on Wednesday morning.

Davis representatives will schedule a separate meeting with county planners soon to learn about the I-Drive Vision Plan code standards, but at first glance their four-story height projection is in line with the code.

A condition of approval that Davis or anyone buying this OEP land will eventually face is the potential requirement to give up right of way on the northern edge of their property. That would be for the future extension of Mandarin Drive to Via Mercado, if county staff determine that route should veer south off the Lockheed Martin property.

Davis Development has apartment properties in six states, including one Florida property in Bradenton, per its website. Last November the group was seeking approval for a 245-unit upscale apartment development in Sanford.

Lee and Associates of Austin, Texas, is a landscape architect and planner on the project.

Building floor plans were provided by the project architect on Feb. 24 to Lee and Associates, which influenced the site plan layout and footprint. Those floor plans are being updated and may change the mix and/or yield of the total units.

In conjunction with it's affiliated companies TX-Morrow Construction, Carolina Multifamily Construction and Morrow Construction, Davis' companies develop, construct, and manage luxury apartment communities throughout the Southeast, Midwest and Southwest regions of the United States.

Editor's Note: This story was updated Wednesday afternoon after Davis Development informed county staff of a misprint on their conceptual site plan, which stated "timeshare/resort rental units" instead of the correct "apartments." 

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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