St. Cloud enlisted the Orlando office of Colliers International to market the 198 acres on Canoe Creek Road.
St. Cloud enlisted the Orlando office of Colliers International to market the 198 acres on Canoe Creek Road. (Colliers International)

St. Cloud will have a wide range of choices to find a developer for nearly 200 acres of prime vacant land on Canoe Creek Road.

The city received a half dozen bids for the property on Friday after contracting with David Calcanis and his team at Colliers International to market the site. The bids vary by $3 million and reflect a variety of development plans. Calcanis told GrowthSpotter each of the firms that submitted a letter of interest would be invited to make its case to the Stevens Plantation Dependent Special District governing board on Oct. 2.

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This is a conceptual master plan for mixed-use development on the Canoe Creek property that combines retail and government uses on the main road frontage with a variety of residential housing types and offices behind them.
This is a conceptual master plan for mixed-use development on the Canoe Creek property that combines retail and government uses on the main road frontage with a variety of residential housing types and offices behind them. (Dix.Hite+Partners)

“Each will be invited to present and say why they think they’re the best one for the project,” he said.

The bulk of the site, 143 acres, lies within the Stevens Plantation special overlay district extending from Canoe Creek Road to Budinger Avenue, surrounding the Stevens Plantation Elementary School. Two additional city-owned parcels, totaling 50+ acres, were added to the offering, Calcanis said.

“It’s a residential site, but the city wants to see a mixed-use development and not just traditional residential,” he said. “It’s difficult to make a residential site mixed-use. One of the bidders that was chasing this thing said they only way they would chase it was if they could get the additional 50 acres, so we went back and changed the offering.”

The bidders are:

  • Avex Homes offered the highest combined purchase price of $8.5 million. As a condition of the sale, Avex would require the Community Development District to sell its 2003B bonds, approximately $1.2 million, and refinance its 2003A bonds, using the savings to help pay for construction. Avex proposes building 82 townhomes, 385 detached single family homes and 50,000 square feet of neighborhood commercial.
Avex Homes offered the highest purchase price. The conceptual development plan would focus primarily on single family homes.
Avex Homes offered the highest purchase price. The conceptual development plan would focus primarily on single family homes. (Avex Homes/Rj Whidden & Associates)
  • D.R. Horton offered a combined $6.5 million. The homebuilder did not provide a detailed development plan but offered a revised conceptual plan showing largely residential uses with a commercial pod in the northeast corner.
  • Elevation Development offered $7 million plus the assumption of the $1.2 million bonded indebtedness. The Orlando firm was the one of two bidders to include a reference to the potential for multifamily development within the site as part of the mixed-use component.
  • Equity Investments offered $5.6 million and noted its intention to develop a mixed-use community that could include the office, medical, light industrial and retail uses in addition to residential. The proposal would require city funding or mobility fee credits for all road construction. Equity also provided a revised conceptual plan.
Homebuilder D.R. Horton provided this conceptual plan with its $6.5 million purchase offer.
Homebuilder D.R. Horton provided this conceptual plan with its $6.5 million purchase offer. (D.R. Horton)
  • Hanover Capital Partners offered a combined $6.2 million with closing no later than 18 months from the execution of the contract.
  • Titan Properties offered $7.25 million. The LOI says the firm would immediately seek rezoning of the land to accommodate future development of some or all of the following uses: multi-family, single-family, townhomes, commercial, office, storage and assisted living facilities.

This isn’t the city’s first go-round with the Stevens North property. In June 2018, the City Council approved an $8.25 million contract with Longwood-based Telesis Services LLC, which outbid three other developers.

The firm created a master plan that incorporated two hotel pads, structured parking and two 300-unit apartment complexes. The development plan also includes 120 townhomes, an office building site, a self-storage site, multi-tenant retail and six outparcels fronting Canoe Creek Road. The project was called “Galleria at Canoe Creek," but the developer never closed the deal.

Elevation Development was one of the firms that lost out to Telesis last year. Principal Owais Khanani told GrowthSpotter the firm submitted a bid for the full 189 acres.

“It’s a great piece of property,” Khanani said. “We’re proposing a mixed-use development with single family, multifamily, townhomes and commercial uses. We’re proposing to call it Cascades at Stevens North.”

He said reworking the RFP to include the city-owned land made the site even more attractive.

“The last go-round, the city-owned piece was not offered,” he said. “Adding the city-owned piece makes it feasible to do a true mixed-use project. Otherwise you can’t do it because you have limited road frontage.”

Calcanis said this particular offering is complicated because the City Council doesn’t have the final say in the selection of the developer/buyer. The bond-holders of $1.2 million in Class B bonds for the Stevens North parcel must approve the buyer.

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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