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Developer planning transit-oriented housing near Kissimmee SunRail station

Developer planning transit-oriented housing near Kissimmee SunRail station
Wendover Housing Partners has filed plans for a 206-unit apartment complex a 5-minute walk from the Kissimmee SunRail station. (Osceola County Property Appraiser/staff edit)

Altamonte Springs-based Wendover Housing Partners has filed plans to build a $38 million transit-friendly apartment complex on the site of a former concrete plant less than a block from the Kissimmee SunRail station.

Wendover has filed a conditional use site plan seeking approvals for a 206-unit apartment complex on the former Vulcan Materials concrete plant at the corner of Neptune Road and Lawrence Silas Boulevard.

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"We've been working on this site for four or five years," Development Associate Ryan Von Weller said on Monday. "We looked at it years ago, but it wasn't zoned to allow for apartments. The city has done a great job of making this site and others available for redevelopment."

Wendover completed Weston Park apartments, adjacent to the Longwood SunRail station, in 2016. Property values around the station rose 17 percent the following year.
Wendover completed Weston Park apartments, adjacent to the Longwood SunRail station, in 2016. Property values around the station rose 17 percent the following year. (Wendover Housing Partners)

In addition, the seller completed an environmental remediation of the property. So when the site came back on the market six months ago, Wendover put it under contract, Von Weller said. The developer will build a sidewalk at Neptune, offering residents a five minute walk from their building to the station.

Wendover traditionally operated in the affordable housing sector, utilizing Low Income Housing Tax Credits, before branching into the market rate sector a few years ago. This would be the company's second TOD housing development, following the completion and stabilization of Weston Park at the Longwood SunRail station.

"We've had great success with that product and that property," Von Weller said. "We've got folks in there who don't use SunRail at all, and others who use it everyday," he said.

A SunRail study commissioned by the Florida Department of Transportation found that property values around the Longwood station increased 17 percent the year after Weston Park was completed and far outpaced a comparable neighborhood.

"Longwood was really missing any sort of new apartment product, so it was a great catalyst for the whole area," Von Weller said.

He sees a lot of similarities between the two underserved market areas, although downtown Kissimmee is larger and has more Class A multifamily projects in the pipeline.

The Wendover project, dubbed Weston 4Hundred, would consist of three 4-story, elevator-served buildings with surface parking. The unit breakdown is 80 studio and one-bedroom units; 89 two-bedroom units and 37 three-bedroom units. Rents would start at $1,000 for a studio and top out at $1,700 for a three-bedroom unit.

"The amenities will be similar to what we did at Weston Park," Von Weller said.

Those incude a large gathering area with a coffee bar, a fitness center, package delivery rooms with refrigerated lockers, a gameroom with pool table, a computer area, wifi throughout all common areas, a resort pool and a dog park. The site also provides easy access to NeoCity via Neptune Road.

"We think with all those amenities and new developments, we'll be able to lease up in a short timeframe," Von Weller said.

Wendover turned to its longtime collaborators, Slocum Platts and AVCON Inc., to design the community.

This would be the second Class A apartment project in Kissimmee's downtown core slated for construction this year. The city's redevelopment partner, Mosaic Development, expects to pull building permits in the next 30-60 days and start construction this summer on 300 units across from Kissimmee's Lakeview Park.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-6261, or tweet me at @LKinslerOGrowth. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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