Kissimmee City Commissioners unanimously agreed with their city manager’s choice of New York-based SkyView Companies for to design and manage the infill redevelopment of the 23-acre Beaumont property next to Osceola Regional Medical Center.
The council voted by consent Tuesday night to begin negotiations with the firm, which recently launched its Florida operations. SkyView was the overwhelming choice of the staff selection committee, which compared its proposal with two other firms.
“Over the past 10 years we have delivered over $1.5 billion in mixed use development in New York City consisting of 1,300 condos and apartments, 3,000 parking garage spaces and 1.2 million square feet of retail / medical office. We are adept at modeling complex mixed-use economic return structures,” Chief Operating Officer Stephen Liberty wrote in the proposal.
Liberty has moved to Orlando to launch the company’s new Florida operation, and the firm has already enlisted two of its trusted architecture and design firms to create the Beaumont vision that won over the staff. They’re working closely with St. Petersburg-based consultant Mario Farias, who has advised the company on its Florida venture.
“It’s the right time,” Farias told GrowthSpotter. “I’ve been dealing with them for three years looking for the right project, and this is it. We’re very excited to be in Kissimmee.”
The Beaumont plan begins with extending the street grid to create 10 city blocks within the 23-acre district.
“DencityWorks Architecture (DWA) took the challenge of weaving this large-scale higher density development into the fabric of the Downtown Kissimmee CRA very seriously. This development will not succeed unless it fits in to the fabric of the city, creates a neighborhood where people want to live, work and play, and ultimately enhances the surrounding neighborhoods and business districts,” Liberty wrote.
Morris Adjmi Architects (MAA) has also risen to the top of SkyView’s shortlist to be on the design team.
The conceptual plan calls for building two- or three-story luxury townhomes (called Garden Homes) on Blocks 1, 2, 3 and 4, which all abut an existing residential neighborhood and city fire station. The height and intensity of the buildings would increase moving north toward Martin Luther King Drive. Blocks 5,6 and 7 would take a more urban form, with 5-story mixed-use buildings wrapped around a parking garage. The multifamily buildings would have a mix of neighborhood retail, office and flex space the ground level, along with the amenities and lobby for the apartment buildings.
“Another signature feature of our Beaumont vision includes extensive use of green roofs over parking structures and setback roofs. Green roofs have been a SkyView Companies trademark in the NYC market having created some of the largest green roofs in the country," Liberty wrote. “Green roofs provide additional stormwater management features, a localized cooling affect, are aesthetically appealing when viewed from floors above, and provide expanded resident amenity areas.”
Blocks 8 and 9 are designated for Class A office buildings, a hotel and more retail, including a possible food market. Farias said the team reached out to both hospitals to find out what their top priorities.
“The offices in Kissimmee are aging stock, so they’re looking for better offices,” he said. “The hotel — that was one of the main things the city wanted in the downtown area. That one’s going to be a suites or extended-stay, because that’s the market. I think there’s a great opportunity.”
Block 10 would be set aside for public uses, with a large park featuring ponds, interactive fountains and public art. There would be a farmer’s market or makers market and more neighborhood retail, as well as a transit connection to the downtown SunRail Station.
“By the numbers, our initial massing plans result in 412 residential units, 163,000 square feet of retail, 270,000 square feet of Class A office and 79 hotel rooms,” Liberty wrote.
The plan components are consistent with the conceptual plan the city had commissioned last year from S&ME. “The city had a great vision, and we’re the right team to make it a reality,” Farias said.
Most of the first year will be spent fine-tuning the master plan and engineering the infrastructure. He said SkyView is scouting for Kissimmee office space now and will be looking to hire a local engineering firm and other professionals. “Nobody knows the area better than locals."