Altamonte Springs developer Richard Wohlfarth intends to break ground in the next 30 days on the first phase of his Osceola Village Center mixed-use project now that he has a deal with Avex Homes for the residential portion of the project.
KB Homes was previously under contract to build the first two phases of the community, but it backed out of the project. Wohlfarth said he reached out to land acquisition executive Jim Reinart, who left KB Home for Avex in June, and “we were able to put the deal back together.”
The first two phases include 147 single family lots and 200 townhomes. Avex Homes President Eric Marks told GrowthSpotter they like the location on John Young Parkway and the road improvements that helped relieve congestion in the area. “We’re really excited about the project,” Marks said. “We’re talking to another homebuilder about coming in with us.”
The 163-acre project is south of downtown Kissimmee, on U.S. 17-92 and fronting on Lake Tohopekaliga. The project is right across from the city’s Lancaster Ranch regional park and will included a segment of the Shingle Creek Regional Trail linking it to downtown’s Lakefront Park.
Marks said Avex will offer a mix of existing floorplans and some new designs created especially for this community. “Right now, we’re trying to get our arms around some of the city’s architectural standards,” he said.
The neighborhood will be designed to appeal to a move-up buyer, with townhomes starting at around $240,000 and detached homes starting in the high $200s. “We’re still working out the amenities, but it will be amenitized consistent with the price point,” he said.
Later phases call for 316 apartments and 12.5 acres for commercial and retail development. Wohlfarth said he expects to put a deal together for the multifamily site in 2021. “We’ve had some interest in the commercial, but we’re holding off for now,” he said. “We think once we clear the land, the value of that commercial site will increase over time.
One factor that could impact Osceola Village is a proposed future land use change and rezoning for a 22.3-acre site just south of the property. Kissimmee real estate broker Rajia Ackley has owned the property for over two decades. The land currently has PUD zoning and Institutional future land use.
John Adams, VP of Rj Whidden and Associates, told GrowthSpotter the site was approved for an assisted living facility up to 4-stories in height. Ackley is applying to change the future land use to High Density Residential and the zoning to RC-2 to allow for a non-age restricted multifamily project.
Adams said once the property is entitled for multifamily, Ackley will take it to market. “There’s a couple of parties interested in it now,” he said.
The zoning and land use changes are scheduled to go to Kissimmee’s Development Review Committee Tuesday morning.
Wohlfarth was not aware of the zoning request for the Ackley property, but said the multifamily project at that location would further enhance the viability for his commercial center. “It would be phenomenal if that could happen,” he said.
Avex has expanded its land holdings in Osceola County over the last few years. The homebuilder just broke ground its first models in Wiregrass, a 298-home subdivision on Jack Brack Road. Avex is partnering with Hanover Family Builders and Century Homes on that project.
More recently, Avex paid $1.73 million for a 21-acre site just north of the St. Cloud Commons shopping center for a new 100-home subdivision. The homebuilder also is under contract to buy 146 acres from the City of St. Cloud, with a plan to 380 detached single family homes and townhomes and roughly 100 multifamily units with ground-level commercial space.