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Osceola County Developments

New York apartment developer eyes Kissimmee site for next project

Sovereign Properties completed the Dolce Royal Palm apartments on U.S. 192 in 2021. Now the developer is eying a site near NeoCity for its second project in Osceola County.

New York-based Sovereign Properties is eyeing a site near NeoCity for its next multifamily development if Osceola County agrees to increase the allowed density.

Lakeland attorney Tim Campbell represented the company during a recent pre-application meeting with the county’s Development Review Committee to discuss 15.6-acre site along the Cross Prairie Parkway just north of Walden Park apartments.

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The property is just south of the U.S. 192 - Florida’s Turnpike interchange and about a mile from NeoCity. It’s located in the Kyng’s Heath Planned Development and has a High Density Residential future land use. Walden Park was built in 2002 and has 300 units.

The PD was originally approved for 580 multifamily units with a maximum density of 18 units per acre, which matches the county’s Medium Density Residential standard.

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Sovereign Properties is eyeing this 15.6-acre site on Shady Lane, just south of U.S. 192 at the Florida's Turnpike interchange.

Atlanta-based Varden Capital Partners had the property under contract in 2021 and met with the DRC to discuss building out the remaining 280 units. But the buyer didn’t close on the property, and now Sovereign is seeking to increase the permitted density so it matches the future land use.

“What we’re looking for is a minor modification to the existing PD to allow an increase in the maximum building height to four stories and the maximum density to 26 dwelling units per acre,” Campbell said. “And we’re doing so because we think in the vicinity of the site, we think that’s compatible use adjacent to the existing multifamily and some industrial use there, located on a pretty major thoroughfare.”

He noted that only a corner of the property abuts single family residential. The Verano Apartments, built in 2008, are right across the street.

The site lies in the Tech Transitional Zone of the E192 Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) District. That zone has some of the strictest building requirements in the design ordinance.

Senior Zoning Manager Amy Templeton advised Campbell to explore rezoning to HDR rather than amend the existing PD. Either way, the case would have to go through a public hearing process because the increase in height and density, which would allow for about 400 units, would be considered a major deviation from the approved PD.

“At this point, you probably have more flexibility rezoning to a straight zoning district and working within the current code requirements,” she said.

DRC Chairman Jose Gomez said the county staff would support the requested zoning change, since it would match with the underlying land use and because the site is on a major thoroughfare: Cross Prairie Parkway.

The Kyng’s Heath lot was previously submitted to Florida Housing Finance Corporation as a potential affordable housing site. In 2016, Tampa-based Southport Financial Services had applied for Low Income Housing Tax Credits to develop 96 units of affordable family housing on about 8 acres of the property.

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The 12,500-square-foot clubhouse features a golf simulator among its amenities.

Last year Sovereign completed the construction and initial lease-up of its 326-unit Dolce Living Royal Palm apartment community in Kissimmee’s Four Corners submarket. The project abuts a future skydiving museum and attractions on the W192 tourism corridor and features best-in-class amenities, including a swimming pool, media center, movie theater, billiards and game room and golf simulator.

The same developer received a $60 million construction loan in January 2021 for Phase 1 of its Sovereign at Town Center development on County Road 532 at Old Lake Wilson Road. The project is currently under construction.

Sovereign had purchased the 92-acre site in 2019 and contains the first 360 of the total 710 approved rental units. The development plan reserves 8 acres for a third phase that could include a charter school or commercial development, also to be completed by Sovereign. The complex consists of a mix of three-story and four-story elevator-served buildings, with a robust amenity package that includes a pool with cabanas, media center and movie theater, game and billiards rooms, fitness center, dog park, golf simulator and tennis court.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was corrected to reflect the construction status of Sovereign at Town Center.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-6261, or tweet me at @byLauraKinsler. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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