Living the resort lifestyle in Margaritaville Orlando could get more affordable now that the developer has scrapped and redesigned the final four phases to add more density and a different mix of housing products.
Peter Brown, Central Florida asset manager for Encore Funds, told GrowthSpotter the master developer will stop building the Key West-style vacation cottages after Phase 7 in favor of less expensive units with fewer bedrooms. That includes a new 350-unit apartment complex in Phase 8 and a condo hotel in Phase 10.
Brown said he thought the previous development plan was too heavily weighted toward detached cottages, and he thought it made sense to offer more affordable investment options on the final pods, which are closer to S.R. 429.
“This gives us the ability to diversify our product offering,” Brown said. “Our goal is to move as fast as possible on all this. We won’t be doing it all concurrently, but it will be pretty close. Changing the plan allows us to do a couple of things at the same time because they won’t be competing with each other.”
The Boca Raton-based developer filed a revised Preliminary Subdivision Plan with Osceola County that would create 835 dwelling units across phases 7, 8 and 9. Brown said the total density in the resort community won’t change very much; it will be distributed differently. There will be fewer 8-bedroom vacation homes and more two-bedroom multifamily units.
“We won’t have anything bigger than three bedrooms,” Brown said.
Phase 10, which is just south of the Margaritaville Hotel, had been approved for 300 timeshare units. But now Encore will move the timeshares to Phase 9 and build 300 condo units in Phase 10.
“This will probably be a condo hotel,” Brown said. “It’s the same unit count, but we’ve rearranged it a bit. These are really geared toward guests looking for shorter stays, like three or four nights.”
The developer is currently midway thru its third pod of vacation cottages, which includes 218 lots and is considered Phase 6 of the master plan. Brown said Encore is now including a private back-yard pool with each home.
"That’s due to market demand,” he said. “We making them standard now for Phase 7, too.”
Phase 7 will now be the last pod to offer the vacation cottages. It was already approved for 164 lots, but the new plan squeezes in a few more lots and makes room for the pools.
The apartments in Phase 8 will be the second multifamily community within Margaritaville. Encore joint-ventured with DeBartolo Development to build the Domain apartments in Phase 2. The new community would have a mix of 3-story and 4-story apartments with its own amenities.
“We’ll be doing the multifamily ourselves,” Brown said. “In this case, we won’t have a partner.”
This would be Encore’s second multifamily project in resort market. The company is also developing a 288-unit luxury rental community just outside its Reunion Resort.
Encore has worked with Dave Schmitt Engineering from the beginning of the project, but the developer has added a second firm, Madden, Moorhead and Stokes to share the workload get through the permitting approvals as quickly as possible.
SCI Landscape Architects will make sure the same tropical plantings are carried out through the resort’s final development phases.