Lake Mary-based DIX Development paid $22.7 million cash this week for a 19-parcel assemblage in St. Cloud and is prepping it for construction next year for a community with 1,224 homes.
Dix President James Dicks told GrowthSpotter the 278-acre Roan Bridge Mixed-Use Planned Unit Development had been under contract since November 2020 and closed without any COVID-related delays.
“We recognized early on and during the pandemic just to put our foot on the gas, and it looks like we were in the right place at the right time and everything’s kind of coming out pretty good we’re, we’re super excited about the marketplace,” he said.
Dusty Calderon with SVN Saunders Ralston Dantzler Real Estate represented the seller, Clay Jowers.
“We worked with a few local banks but in light of our timeline and establishing our CDD more efficiently, we opted for self-funding,” Dicks said.
The ranch land is on Old Hickory Tree Road, less than a mile south of U.S. 192, and was annexed into the City of St. Cloud in 2017. It has zoning entitlements for 625 detached single-family homes and 339 townhomes and 260 multifamily units, and the site plan is scheduled to go to the city’s Development Review Committee later this month.
Dicks said he also contracts in place with two homebuilders for all of the single-family and townhouse lots, and he has a development partner lined up for the multifamily.
“We retained the commercial — there’s about 10 acres of commercial — and we are going to self-develop the vertical of the 260 apartments,” Dicks said. “We are going to bring on a group that is very well-versed in apartments in Central Florida.”
He said the complex would be a compact community on 6 acres with a quad of 5-story, elevator-served buildings. “It’s going to be self-contained, in the middle of the city center,” he said. “We think it’s a great location and it’s going to create a great environment and transition between the single-family and the townhomes.”
Dicks said he believes the commercial and retail portions of the project will be sold and developed fairly soon after construction commences on the residential. “You and I both know that marketplace is really just out of control,” he said. “I don’t anticipate it will be the last thing we sell. I would be shocked if by the second quarter of next year somebody hasn’t already bought that and made plans. I do think it will be more of community-type retail that caters to people in the area. And quite frankly, south of the main road (U.S. 192) right there, there’s really nothing down there as move down to Nolte. It’s just minimal commercial.”
The site is directly across the street from Hickory Tree Elementary, but the PUD calls for the developer to provide a site for a new K-8 school on 19th Street. The city also will build a new fire station within the Roan Bridge district at the corner of 19th Street and Old Hickory Tree Road.
DIX Development is also moving forward with its plans to build downtown Orlando’s first residential tower featuring micro-unit apartments. The 130-foot tall Vive on Eola tower is scheduled for the November Municipal Planning Board meeting. The developer is seeking a density bonus to allow for 144 micro-apartments with 6,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial uses that will include a signature restaurant and coffee shop.
DIX paid $3.325 million in early 2020 for half-acre site at 205 S. Eola Dr. in Thornton Park. Construction is scheduled to start in the third quarter of 2022.