Taylor Morrison Homes has launched its own Built-to-Rent division and will break ground on three purpose-built rental communities in Central Florida in the spring.
Taylor Morrison BTR President Darin Rowe told GrowthSpotter that the company has about 1,000 units in the greater Orlando pipeline for its new Yardly product line, starting with new communities in Kissimmee, Eustis and DeLand.
The Arizona-based homebuilder entered the BTR space in 2019 through its strategic partnership with Christopher Todd Communities, which focuses on single-story cottage home communities with Class-A amenities. The deal allowed CTC to expand its footprint from Arizona into Texas and Florida.
“Simply put, we had a three-year term, and that term came to an end,” Rowe said. “So we were both pursuing our individual interests, and we wish them well. And we just continue to evolve the concept here at Taylor Morrison, and Yardly is a big part of that.”
The branding emphasizes the most desirable design feature of the BTR community: that each residence has a private backyard — with a doggy door.
“When you think about humans and their pets and wanting a better life for their collective family, that includes those pets,” Rowe said. “It really does allow you to have more flexibility if you think about jobs and leaving the house and coming back and wanting to have a space for your beloved pet to roam.”
Rowe said Yardly would continue to offer the single-story cottages but is also introducing different housing products to the line. Those include some two-story units with garages and quadruplex buildings. These communities typically consist of one- and two-bedroom homes ranging from approximately 700 to 1,100 sq. ft. and offer low-maintenance living and smart-home technology.
Yardly communities will range in size from 100 to 300 units. The first cottage-style community is approved in the city of DeLand and will consist of 235 units. It’s located at the southeast corner of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Beltway and Cassadaga Road.
On Dec. 1, the Eustis City Council approved a PUD for another 230-unit Yardly community directly to the west of the intersection of State Road 44 and Waycross Avenue.
Taylor Morrison will also introduce one of its newer Yardly concepts in Bellalago on property it acquired through a merger with AV Homes. The 9-acre site in Shoppes of Bellalago was already zoned to allow for multifamily residential. Taylor Morrison filed a Site Development Plan in September for a BTR community that will incorporate the two-story townhouse and a quadruplex building into the product mix.
Each unit will still have a private yard, he said. “Each site being different, thinking about amenities and efficiencies when you have a smaller project, Bella Lago will be roughly 106 or 107 units, so it will be on the smaller end of what we traditionally build.”
The Yardly division will have its own staffing that will operate separately from Taylor Morrison’s retail operations. Rowe and his team are sourcing land in about half of the company’s active markets, including Tampa, Jacksonville and Sarasota, and has about 15 projects in the development pipeline now.
Rowe said there are no immediate plans to introduce the BTR concept into the homebuilder’s large-scale master-planned communities, such as Westview or Langley Estates, but it could be added in the future.
“We’re always looking,” he said. “We know that it’s very complementary to our business. And when we think about growing the renter from our communities to homeownership, we find that a high percentage — up to 90% — of our residents feel that they’ll eventually own a home.”
The BTR lifestyle also appeals to empty nesters who “don’t want to go back to the indecency of apartment living” he added.
Taylor Morrison joins D.R. Horton as two of the largest production homebuilders in the U.S. with dedicated BTR divisions. In October, D.R. Horton sold its first completed BTR community, Apopka’s Avian Pointe, to Greystar for an undisclosed price.
Rowe said Taylor Morrison will likely put its Yardly communities on the market after stabilization.
“That’s our default scenario, but certainly, with market conditions, we always knew that we may have an opportunity to do something different,” Rowe said. “So that’s the great thing about these communities. W can lease them up to say 90% and sell them, which is pretty traditional for the multifamily space as you know, or we could collect rent checks and decide to kind of maintain those projects for a longer duration. It really plays into the highest and best use of capital for the business, but it’s nice to have that flexibility to be sure.”
Several multifamily and student housing developers, including Landmark Properties, Mill Creek Residential Trust and DeBartolo Development, have all launched single-family BTR brands focusing on horizontal apartment communities and have active projects in the Orlando market.