St. Cloud’s City Council shortlisted three of the six developers who were bidding for nearly 200 acres of land along Canoe Creek Boulevard, choosing the two bids that fit the mixed-use criteria best and one that didn’t but came with the highest purchase price.
Council members unanimously agreed that the plans submitted by Titan Properties and Equity Investments fullfilled their desire to see a higher density and more non-residential uses.
“Titan had the best plan out of all of them,” Councilman Keith Trace said.
The three finalists will have a second chance to make their case to the council on Nov. 7 and to present their “best and final offer” for the property. And they’ll have a chance to meet with city staff and fine-tune their conceptual plans.
Titan Principal Dell Avery said he teamed up with national multifamily developer, Alliance Residential. They submitted the only conceptual plan with no single family detached home lots. Titan Properties offered $7.25 million and it had the highest cash deposit ($125,000), but it also had the longest due diligence period (120 days) of the three.
“We’ve been the Orlando area for about 30 years, we’ve developed 12,000 single family lots and several mixed-use communities,”Avery said. “But we felt like mixed-use was the best for this property. It’s a great location. And we wanted to present a mixed concept that had residential, commercial, multifamily, senior housing and maybe even assisted living. There’s even a spot in there for the storage that we put in there.”
Mike Liquori presented the Equity Investments/Gentry Land proposal, emphasizing the company’s local ties to St. Cloud. Gentry Land is the only developer actually headquarted in St. Cloud. The partners offered $5.6 million and a quick, 90-day closing.
“We are planning a true mixed-use plan with a mix of office retail, light industrial, medical and residential,” Liquori said. “We also strongly believe in the arterial connection between Budinger and Canoe Creek Road. We plan to incorporate approximately eight acres of neighborhood parks and trails to generate true pedestrian connectivity between the community and the businesses as well as the existing St. Cloud Elementary School.”
Equity’s concept included traditional single family homes, as well as a row of rear-alley loaded single family homes fronting on the linear park that extends the length of the property.
Council Vice Chair Linette Matheny praised the plan for its parks and trails and for the road network. She advised the other finalists to add more specificity to the green space in the community.
“Take a look at the green space,” she said. “A lot of them is just like they’re just saving the wetlands. But you know, no one really can use a wetland. So try to weave in some use green space and trails, things like that.”
Avex Homes and joint venture partner Avalon Park Group made the cut by virtue of the fact that it offered the highest combined purchase price of $7.7 million. Council members were least enthusiastic about the concept plan, which focused largely on detached single family home lots but also included 50,000 square feet of neighborhood commercial uses.
Avex President Eric Marks promised to bring a more detailed plan when the Council reconvenes on Nov. 7 to make the final selection. Marks noted that Avalon Park Group has extensive experience developing mixed-use communities, including Avalon Park in East Orlando.
“And what’s unique about that project is it really is the execution of a vision that many local governments like to see, which is a town center with vertically mixed-use buildings,” Marks said. “So we have plenty of buildings that we’ve built on our own and financed on our own with ground-floor retail and multifamily over. So we have the experience for more of a mixed use type of project.”
The council eliminated three bidders: D.R. Horton, Hanover Capital and Elevation Development.