The new owner of a former Marriott Grande Pines Golf Course south of SeaWorld is a step closer to redeveloping the site as mixed-use after substantial changes to its Planned Development (PD) were approved Wednesday by Orange County's Development Review Committee.
Florham Park, N.J.-based Ridgewood Real Estate Partners bought 200 acres from Marriott Vacations Worldwide that includes the 170-acre golf course in February 2014 for about $24 million. The purchase was made in the name of a new local limited liability company, AG-RW Grande Pines.
Ridgewood has been a residential real estate developer and investor specializing in land banking since 2009. It acquires, develops and then sells residential and mixed-use projects.
With approval to change the PD, AG-RW Grande Pines will now pursue developing the property with a mix of single-family, multi-family, tourist commercial, hotel, office and timeshare uses, said Jonathan S. Grebow, company president.
"This is a great location for mixed-use, and the PD will now allow for all the uses we want," he said.
The change to the PD will now have to be ratified by the Board of County Commissioners, which should reach their agenda in six weeks.
Grebow said he hopes to break ground on the site in the first quarter of 2016 but has yet to determine an investment budget. Civil engineer on the project is Poulus & Bennett, while the Orlando office of VHB is serving as project planner.
The developer hired CBRE in February to market four retail outparcels on the property that borders International Drive, north of International Golf Club Road, for sale or lease. The parcel sizes range from 4,295 square feet to 8,660 square feet.
"We've had a lot of interest so far from end-users and the real estate community at large," said Bobby Palta, exclusive retail broker for the property. "We knew the permitting process would take some time, and it would take some time to attract the market's attention to this area of I-Drive. We're in neogitations with a few groups."
As many as 1,100 residential units could be included in the master plan development.
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