Impact fee increase prompts owner to file construction plans for Osceola project

An Orlando investment firm is accelerating design work on a 28-acre mixed-use project near Kissimmee's NeoCity tech district, in order to get permits approved before Osceola County's school impact fees and mobility fees double in May.

Osceola County has guaranteed that any plans submitted by March 9 would be processed before the new fees take affect. 

Upshot Capital Advisors filed construction plans last week with the South Florida Water Management District for the Amber Pointe property, at the intersection of E192 and Partin Settlement Road. The site plan divides the parcel into seven lots ranging in size from 2.13 acres to 15.5 acres with a mix of retail and commercial uses, a 120-room hotel and a 300-unit apartment complex. 

Vice President of Legal Affairs Juan Carlos Gomez told GrowthSpotter the firm is waiting for the county's Development Review Committee to approve a major amendment to the Planned Development before filing a Site Development Plan and construction plans with the county.

"For multifamily, we need to have our PD amendment in place," Gomez said. "It's difficult to engage your architects until you have that approval from the county."

Gomez said Upshot has been working with Forum Architecture to design the apartment complex and Harris Civil Engineers on the  overall project, which includes a master stormwater pond. The apartment concept calls for seven four-story, elevator-served buildings plus a pool and clubhouse.

The construction plans also call for a pair of restaurants, a gas station and a self-storage facility. 

The firm paid $4.5 million last June for the site, which is located within the E192 CRA district. The developer could be looking at a potential $575,000 mobility fee increase for the hotel and multi-tenant retail portions of the project. 

But Gomez said the largest concern is the nearly $6,000-per-unit school impact fee hike for new apartments, which could also take effect in early May. That alone would translate to an increase from $1.8 million to $3.7 million.

"These are significant fee increases," Gomez said. "We're pushing through and working to see if we can get our permits in before the deadline."

Osceola School Board Member Tim Weisheyer, the only board member to vote against the impact fee hike, proposed phasing the increase in over the next year in three-month increments but he wasn't able to get a majority vote on the school board this month. The impact fee ordinance is scheduled to go to the Board of County Commissioners for final approval in February. 

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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