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Tavistock preps CDD to govern Poitras East development south of Orlando airport

An updated version from March 2018 of the Preliminary Development Program for zoning on the Poitras East property, which lies generally southeast of Orlando International Airport.
An updated version from March 2018 of the Preliminary Development Program for zoning on the Poitras East property, which lies generally southeast of Orlando International Airport. (City of Orlando / Tavistock)

Tavistock Development Company wants the City of Orlando's permission to establish a Community Development District (CDD) for the first 1,000-plus acres of its "Poitras Property" south of Orlando International Airport, which would provide the autonomy of a local government.

CDDs can issue tax-free municipal bonds to finance the construction and maintenance of infrastructure. Tavistock estimates the cost of roads, utilities and other work for Poitras East at $49 million.

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That money would be paid back to bondholders over time by property owners within the boundary, via future annual tax bills. The Lake Nona developer has an ordinance going before City Council on June 25 to establish thePoitras EastCDD.

Tavistock paid more than $63.8 million in mid-May for its first 1,147 acres of the 1,800-acre Poitras land from the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA). Its new zoning there calls for 2,734 residential units and 100,000 square feet of non-residential -- to include various commercial types, a school site and community park.

The CDD would cover approximately 1,060 acres generally located west of Narcoossee Road, north and east of Boggy Creek Road and south of the Central Florida Greeneway and the Lake Nona master-planned community.

Tavistock could create another CDD in the future for 686 acres of "Poitras West" property it holds a purchase option on from GOAA. That land, west of the Jim Branch River, is earmarked for future commercial development.

A CDD can only be established when 100 percent of land owners within the boundary consent, which in this case is easy with Tavistock's affiliate as sole owner.

Development of the Poitras land will ultimately be connected to the rest of Tavistock's master-planned Lake Nona community to the north. Extensions are proposed for Medical City Drive southward into the property, as well as Hartwell Court.

City staff are recommending approval of the CDD request, since it meets all the standards of review set by the state.

Large communities like Poitras East can experience a lack of continuity in the design and maintenance of landscaping, lighting and roadway infrastructure over multiple phases. A CDD allows those to be built concurrently with demand, which may stretch over many years. Debt of a CDD can't be transferred to another city government, so Orlando taxpayers aren't at risk.

CDDs are governed by a five-member board of supervisors, which then employs a district manager and adopts an annual budget. While in the beginning the board is made up of appointees by the lone landowner (Tavistock), over time as more people buy homes in Poitras East they will take over and run the CDD.

Officials with Tavistock declined to comment this week on if the company has established bond council to advise on the process of offering CDD bonds to market.

They also declined to forecast a timeline for Tavistock's issuance of any CDD bonds, how much the company will seek in investment value, and when it plans to start horizontal site and infrastructure work on the property.

Separately, Tavistock has coordinated land purchases and negotiated utility permitting to get the Osceola Parkway Extension aligned in a way that will link its three largest communities: Lake Nona, Poitras and Sunbridge.

In Osceola County, Tavistock got the state's permission to create a stewardship district for 19,000-plus acres of its planned Sunbridge community in that county. Those differ from CDDs because they take longer to transition control from developer to homeowners.

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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