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BTI pays $40 million for 1,400-acre Edgewater land in Osceola

BTI pays $40 million for 1,400-acre Edgewater land in Osceola
Osceola County has approved the Concept Plan for Edgewater, which was purchased Tuesday by BTI partners for $40 million. (Rj Whidden & Associates)

Fort Lauderdale-based BTI Partners paid $40 million cash on Tuesday to buy roughly 1,400 acres in Osceola County’s East Lake Toho district and plans to transform it into an urban mixed-use district with over 6,000 new homes.

GrowthSpotter first reported in April that BTI had a contract on the property, roughly half of the former Edgewater Development of Regional Impact, as the company filed an updated Concept Plan for the property.

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“The acquisition of the Edgewater is consistent with our land strategy of delivering residential lots to national and regional homebuilders in high-growth markets,” said Noah Breakstone, CEO of BTI Partners.

The 1,400-acre community will be developed over seven phases. Construction on Phase 1 is scheduled to start within a year.
The 1,400-acre community will be developed over seven phases. Construction on Phase 1 is scheduled to start within a year. (Rj Whidden & Associates)

The former Whaley ranch property transacted in three separate deeds, each for $13,333,333. Kissimmee-based KV Land Group brokered the deal on behalf of the Whaley family.

“It’s been a long process and a lot of work,” Chief Investment Officer Justin Onorato told GrowthSpotter. “We are really excited to close the deal.”

The Concept Plan entitles the property for more than 5,000 residential units and 2 million square feet of commercial uses, including a designated Urban Center at the Kissimmee Park Road Turnpike interchange.

“This is mixed-use, and it’s going to be an urban development,” said John Adams, vice president of Rj Whidden & Associates, which has led the planning of Edgewater property since 2004.

The Urban Center alone is approved for 1,200 dwelling units, 1 million square feet of commercial space, 1.9 million square feet of office space, 60,000 square feet of civic space and 600 hotel rooms.

The development site is along the west side of Florida’s Turnpike from Kissimmee Park Road to the Three Lakes Toll Plaza, approximately 3 miles in length.

BTI Partners is currently working with Rj Whidden to design and plan the initial phases and anticipates starting land development in about one year. The phasing plan divides the community into seven phases over a 15 year buildout.

Onorato said he anticipates bringing as many as three homebuilders for the first phase – likely including an active adult community – scheduled for completion in 2022.

“We do have a lot of interest from homebuilders,” Onorato said. “We’ll be able to offer an active adult component and 2 other communities – non age restricted.”

The final phase would be the urban center.

The Florida's Turnpike Enterprise is considering a plan to build a new diverging-diamond interchange about a half-mile north of the existing Kissimmee Park Road interchange south of St. Cloud.
The Florida's Turnpike Enterprise is considering a plan to build a new diverging-diamond interchange about a half-mile north of the existing Kissimmee Park Road interchange south of St. Cloud. (FTE)

One thing that could delay the community’s launch is the potential relocation of the Turnpike interchange from Kissimmee Park Road. The Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise is considering building a new, diverging diamond interchange at New Nolte Road, about a half-mile north of Kissimmee Park Road, in lieu of converting the existing two-way interchange into a full interchange.

The concept plan was designed with the main access from Kissimmee Park Road, but if the FTE selects the New Nolte Road alternative, it would force BTI and Rj Whidden to rework the concept plan.

“The Turnpike issue should be resolved by the first quarter of next year,” Onorato said.

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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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