Local developer group seeks rezone for luxury senior condos in Kissimmee

Orlando developer Tom Ginther is seeking a land use change and rezoning for 40 acres near Shingle Creek Regional Park for a luxury retirement development.

"We're excited about it," Ginther told GrowthSpotter on Friday. "We think it's one of the most beautiful pieces of property in the city of Kissimmee."

Ginther's Talisman Partners paid $2.16 million last December for the square-shaped parcel north of Vine Street in the city of Kissimmee. At the time, managing partner Bob Kaplus said the buyers had not decided on a use for the parcel.

Now they've settled on a plan to develop a mixed-use project with up to 800 age-restricted multifamily units. That could include a combination of condos, timeshares, apartments, short-term rental units, fractional ownership and townhomes. 

The community also would have an assisted-living facility with an on-site restaurant and and a mix accessory commercial uses, such as a hair salon, light retail, a church and medical offices. 

"To be a successful ALF, they need to have those ancillary services," Ginther said. "We want the facility to be pet-friendly, too. A lot of them aren't."

The group meets Tuesday morning with the city's Development Review Committee. Colony Realty Group President Tom Lightsey is also a partner. 

Ginther, who owns Chesterfield Contracting, said the partners hope to have permits by the third quarter and break ground in 2018. The project would be developed over as many as five phases. The main access would be from Yates Road with a secondary exit to Old Vineland Road.

Talisman has applied for a land use change from single-family residential to multifamily medium-density residential. The firm has also applied for a rezoning to Mixed-Use PUD for the project they're calling Shingle Creek Landings.

The developer is seeking bonus credits to achieve the 20-units per acre density. That means the project has to meet at least five of eight defined design standards regarding architectural guidelines, tree protection, enhanced landscaping, green building, trails and open space.

"We have huge oak trees on the site," Ginther said. "Hopefully we can keep a lot of the specimen trees and cluster our buildings around those large trees, and make it an attractive facility where people can get out and walk in a serene environment."

Jordan Engineering drafted the MUPUD master plan that offers few details about how the community will be laid out. It indicates that buildings located around the perimeter of the property would not exceed three stories, or 50 feet in height. The project would enforce a five-story maximum height restriction throughout the rest of the development.

The project would include a 150-foot buffer between Shingle Creek Landings and the neighborhood to the north. "Our architects have told us that having a buffer like that, the contiguous neighbors won't be able to see our buildings because of the height of the trees," he said.

That buffer zone would include a recreational trail that would link the community to the public park. 

Ginther said the Talisman group has already met with city planners to discuss the concept of "going vertical" to protect as much of the tree canopy as possible. 

April Fisher is assisting the group with the planning and design. The partners expect to select a lead architect and hope to have elevations within the next 60 days. 

The Talisman property is next to another new multifamily PUD, Vineland Landings, on 25 acres that was approved by the city last year. Atlantic Housing Partners is planning a 377-unit community with three-story apartment buildings on the southern half of the property, and a mix of two-story carriage house units and/or single-story villas on the northern half.

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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