A Kissimmee-area residential project that was shelved in 2019 could be D.R. Horton’s next purpose-built single-family rental community.
Dallas Austin, forward planning manager for Texas-based homebuilder, met with Osceola County’s Development Review Committee last week discuss plans for a Build-to-Rent subdivision southwest of the intersection of Orange Blossom Trail and Pleasant Hill Road. The assemblage owned by the Rose E. Button Trust spans nearly 25 acres and is accessible from the east and the south. It was initially conceived as a gated, active-adult community.
Button previously gained approval to rezone the property in 2017 to Low-Density Residential and gained county approval for a preliminary subdivision plan with 133-lots plus a half-acre recreation tract, plus two small dog parks. The plans for Country Oaks Forest were created by Jordan Engineering, but Sean Fortier from KCG Engineering represented D.R. Horton during the pre-app meeting.
DRC Chairman Jose Gomez said the plans normally would have expired by now, but the owner sought and received several extensions due to the COVID-related state of emergency. “They could file a Site Development Plan if they want and build the project as it is,” Gomez told GrowthSpotter. “But if they want to change anything, they have to start over with a new subdivision plan.”
In 2021, D.R. Horton, America’s largest homebuilder, significantly expanded its BTR operations and reclassified them as part of the DHI Communities division, which also builds and operates multifamily rental communities. During fiscal 2021, the company sold three single-family rental properties (260 total homes) for $75.9 million, according to its annual report.
At the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, 2021, D.R. Horton’s balance sheet included $418.5 million of assets related to single-family rental operations across 55 communities. These communities include 2,650 homes and finished lots, of which 865 homes were completed.
In Central Florida, the builder paid $3.95 million last year for a 56-lot build-to-rent subdivision in Apopka that makes up the first phase of the large Avian Pointe master-planned community, located east of the Western Beltway (S.R. 429). DHI Communities also bought and developed 118 townhomes in Avian Pointe, which are also a part of the rental program where rents start at $2,550 per month for a three-bedroom townhouse.
“The rental demand in Central Florida is higher than ever right now. Many people are opting to forego the commitment of a mortgage and prefer the flexibility of renting a home,” Division President Donna Pope said at the time of the announcement. “We are leveraging D.R. Horton’s success and experience as America’s Builder, providing the best options for renters by building new for-lease homes with multiple floor plans available to rent.”
These homes at Avian Pointe feature open-concept designs with living spaces ranging from 1,567 to 2,601 square feet with a selection of floorplans offering three, four or five bedrooms, “chef-inspired kitchens,” smart home technology features, stainless steel appliances and a one or two-car garage. Each home includes full landscaping, cable and internet and select homes have a number of extra features, such as water views and a fenced backyard.