Two St. Cloud brothers with a cell phone business empire are trying their hand at land development in their own neighborhood.
The brothers – both named Jose Martinez – have assembled 31 acres on Clay Whaley Road, adjacent to Phase 4 of the 1,400-acre Edgewater master-planned community. Jose Augusto Martinez and Jose Francisco Martinez acquired the four parcels in 2018 and 2019 for a combined total purchase price of $1.145 million.
They co-own 139 Metro T-Mobile stores and employ more 900 workers, Jose F. Martinez told GrowthSpotter. “We bought this land as an investment,” he said. “I would love to develop it ourselves. It’s something we’ve done in the past, though not to this scale.”
The property currently has Mixed-Use future land use and zoning. This week the brothers filed a Concept Plan with Osceola County that would continue the development pattern already approved on the adjacent Edgewater community and entitle the property for 97 detached single family home lots and 54 townhomes.
Fort Lauderdale-based BTI Partners paid $40 million last year for the Edgewater East property, which is approved for for more than 5,000 residential units and 2 million square feet of commercial uses, including a designated Urban Center in Phase 4.
“We’re trying to mirror what they’re doing,” Martinez said. “Right now, we’re just getting the approvals in place.”
Jose F. Martinez said the brothers would consider selling their land after it’s entitled. They engaged Hanson Walter and Associates for the conceptual planning and engineering.
BTI plans to start its development south of Clay Whaley Road. The total project is divided into six phases with an anticipated buildout date of 2032.
Osceola County has approved BTI’s Preliminary Subdivision Plan for Phase 1, which begins at the current Kissimmee Park Road interchange at Florida’s Turnpike. which would start on the south side of Clay Whaley Road, and the developer has submitted a Site Development Plan to build the entrance road and drainage infrastructure.
The Edgewater neighborhood that immediately abuts the Martinez property is entitled for 411 residential units. The Edgewater Concept Plan also calls for a large man-made pond with a boat lift that would give residents direct access to Lake Tohopekaliga. BTI’s phasing plan anticipates construction of Phase 4 starting in 2026.
The initial Edgewater Concept Plan actually called for Phase 1 construction to start north of Clay Whaley Road, but BTI switched things up earlier this year on the phasing in response to the Florida’s Turnpike decision to move the new interchange north to New Nolte Road. BTI relocated the urban center closer to the new interchange.
“Whatever pace they try to move will not dictate what we do,” Martinez said. “If we build this, it’s going to be an amazing community. I have an incentive to do a good job – I actually live on Kissimmee Park Road, so it’s in my interest to make it nice.”