Envisioning a mix of retail-commercial, hotels and multifamily for the former shopping mall site, company representatives held a pre-app meeting on Thursday with City of Orlando staff to discuss two redevelopment options.
Lightstone and VHB will take the next few weeks to craft a Framework Master Plan, which will outline a phased development program that could take years to carry out, VHB principal Jim Hall told GrowthSpotter.
"Lightstone is an accomplished national developer, so this is very much their project concept," he said. "We're moving forward with this entitlement action with the city. Time will tell on exactly how this turns out. Lightstone could be the developer, a land seller or a mix of the two."
"Lightstone's no. 1 goal is to sell the property, but if that didn't happen they want to be able to develop, joint venture or whatever may come down the road," McEwan said Thursday evening. "This master plan process can also help buyers to know what can be done there."
Both plans work around the separately-owned Bass Pro Shops and Cinemark movie theater parcels, placing future retail-commercial beside those and recognizing them as anchors.
It also acknowledges a redevelopment path where those two owners don't agree to an assemblage sale, which is likely required for a theme park developer to buy the property, first reported here on Oct. 22.
In the first concept plan, 81 developable acres would be split as 34 acres of commercial and 37 acres of residential. New retail would total 156,000 square feet, two hotel sites are projected for 200 rooms each (avg. 300 SF/room), and 640 multifamily units are split among 21 three- and four-story buildings with a low density of 20 dwelling units per acre. This plan assumes all surface parking.
In the second concept, 66 developable acres would be split as 27 acres of commercial and 39 acres of residential. New retail would total 170,000 square feet, two hotel sites could have 200 rooms each, and 1,950 multifamily units are projected for multiple four- and five-story buildings with a high density of 50 dwelling units per acre. This plan considers a mix of surface and structured parking.
A series of new tree-lined streets would run throughout the property, with existing entry points maintained on I-Drive and Oak Ridge Road.
Located at 5200 International Dr., any Artegon site owner stands to gain from the I-4 Ultimate project's new flyover bridge, which is set for completion later this year and will link adjacent Oak Ridge Road to Caravan Court across the interstate, a block from one of the main entrances of Universal Orlando.
In these two scenarios, Lightstone could serve as master developer and carry out the city approvals of new entitlements, then construct the infrastructure and new streets before selling off blocks for phased development, Hall said.
VHB earned the opportunity to develop the concepts by serving Lightstone for years on its Artegon planning and engineering work, when it sought ways to preserve the shopping mall.
Lightstone owns the majority of Artegon and its parking lot (64.47 acres) through an affiliate, as well as nearly 40 additional contiguous acres comprised of easements and stormwater retention area.
The company subdivided and sold off another 30 acres in single-tenant chunks in late 2015.
It sold a 6.27-acre lot with a long-term lease by Cinemark in October 2015 for $13 million to an affiliate of Arizona-based STORE Capital, a REIT focused on single tenant operational real estate.
It then sold the 16.74-acre parcel occupied by Bass Pro Shops in December 2015 for $17 million to New York-based attorney and investor Michael Aviles and a partner, who says it's the brand's no. 1 store in the nation. Those sales, totaling $30 million, surpassed the $25 million Lightstone paid for the entire property in 2011.
Lightstone also sold two undeveloped outparcels totaling 4.14 acres in December 2015 for $3.8 million to an affiliate of Orlando-based Millenia Partners, which is planning three restaurant lot leases, the first under construction for a Pollo Tropical.
Reached in his New York office on Thursday, Aviles told GrowthSpotter that Lightstone executives have told him they still have "two serious buyers with different financial qualificiations, but both would bring unique plans to the table -- one an amusement park, the other mixed-use development."
"I think this pre-app by (Lightstone) is a developmental stage, and they'll continue to market the property to cover all angles."
Executives with Lightstone did not respond to requests for comment on Thursday.