A Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based real estate firm best known for buying value-add apartments is venturing into new Class A construction with its first new build project in Kissimmee’s tourism corridor.
DLP Capital Partners paid nearly $6.4 million for the 13-acre “Snow White Village” property, which is entitled for a 304 unit apartment community. It’s located on Seven Dwarfs Lane, near the W192 intersection with Vineland Road/S.R. 535, and abuts Lennar’s Shingle Creek resort community.
“We love the area,” DLP senior associate Nicholas Lanni told GrowthSpotter. “There’s incredibly strong rent for the builds from 2012 and later. It supports us doing something nice, and it fits the bill for the Disney market.”
He said the firm, which also has an office in St. Augustine, has multifamily assets along the I-4 corridor, but it’s getting harder to find the same value in available Class B and C properties. In August DLP sold one of its Orlando assets, Kensington Cottages, for over $15 million – doubling its initial investment over the three-year hold. Lanni said it was the right time to divest and lock in their gains.
“We’re getting to a different point to the cycle in the market and economy,” he said. “We’re open minded to different strategies, other than our bread and butter.”
Earlier this year, the company acquired a boutique eco-friendly homebuilder, Brite Homes for $22 million with a strategy to offer affordable, net-zero homes. It’s currently building in multiple Florida communities, including DeBary and Poinciana. DLP also recently broke ground on its first multifamily community near its Bethlehem headquarters. The Kissimmee project would be its second new-build in the multifamily space.
“It’s a bit of a new venture for us,” Lanni said.
DLP, which stands for “dream, live, prosper," identified the Snow White Village site because the firm had worked with the seller, Jaymor Group. Goldman Sachs provided $3.8 million in financing to DLP for the acquisition.
The former Snow White Village trailer park was originally developed in the early 1980s as affordable housing for Epcot workers. Jaymor bought the 13-acre site in 2015 for $3.3 million. The Canadian developer had an approved Site Development Plan for the apartment complex, but it never pulled the trigger.
Last year, Jaymor officials met with Osceola County to discuss reactivating the permits. Now DLP will follow through on that plan. Lanni said they’re targeting a construction start in the first quarter, with an 18-month delivery and six-month stabilization period.
“We worked with the previous owner. We’ve lent to him and partnered with him, and we’re familiar with the plan,” Lanni said. “We’re trying to take the path of least resistance here.”
The previous SDP called for four apartment buildings, each four stories with 72 units, multiple detached garages and storage units and a clubhouse. The buildings will have interior corridors and garbage chutes on each floor.
DLP communications specialist Jenn LoConte said the community would highly amenitized, with a resort-style pool, 24-hour fitness center, outdoor kitchen, game room and home theater.
One thing they haven’t decided on is whether to keep the legacy “Snow White Village” name.
“It is charming,” Lanni said. “We also have a naming convention to our multifamily assets. It might end up being a combination of our own branding and a little bit of homage to Disney.”
The architect of record is Jacobs & Associates, and Bill Burkett is the civil engineer.The company is currently in the process of interviewing general contractors.