Prolific multifamily developer Fore Property Group ran into an unexpected speed bump Wednesday in its latest effort to build more apartments in the Tupperware SunRail station area when county planners said the project would have to include non-residential uses.
The pushback came as a surprise to the firm, which has already completed five apartment communities on former Tupperware-owned land within the Osceola Corporate Center Planned Development.
Fore held a pre-application meeting to discuss the site planning for its next project, a proposed 350-unit midrise complex slated for on 17.4 acres south of Mary Louis Lane (and the Orange County line) and east of Healthy Way, a north-south road that connects to the Orlando Health Tupperware campus. It’s one of five pending applications in Orange and Osceola counties for new development along the county line that could add 2,000 apartments to the area.
But Osceola Planning Director Cori Carpenter told the developer that the county’s land development code requires at least 20% of nonresidential uses for any development over 10 acres within an employment center. Carpenter noted that TOD (transit-oriented development) station area masterplan called for offices on that property.
“And all of that had come in is the residential uses,” she said. “So we need to see overall what’s going on here, because right now we just have multifamily on multifamily. And we’re not getting the mix of uses — other than a 7Eleven and the hospital. So we really need to see that we have that minimum percentage that was built into the code to ensure that we truly have a mixed-use area and not just high-density residential.”
Abdul Alkadry with Harris Civil Engineering has submitted a new Tupperware Heights PD in Orange County that would entitle it for 263,480 square feet of office and commercial space. But he told Osceola’s Development Review Committee that the proposed Fore project was designed to be strictly multifamily.
They agreed to schedule a follow-up meeting with the land owner, O’Connor Capital Partners, to give a clearer picture of the overall development scheme. Development Director Peter Bergner told GrowthSpotter last week that all of the land in the station area is under contract except for about 10 acres on Orange Avenue across from the hospital.
“We can show you what’s planned for the rest of it, but it all depends on developers,” Alkadry said.
Senior Planner Photenie Burnett introduced another wrinkle into the discussion, noting that a proposed LDC update could change those requirements.
‘You have 17.45 acres, so you would be over the 10 acres, which would require the minimum 20% nonresidential uses,” she said. “And that’s how our current code is written. So it remains to be seen how the code update impacts that, because we’re trying to bring the code more into compliance with the (Comprehensive Plan). And so that is how it reads right now.”
Another proposed development, The Pearl, would bring 400 units on 6 acres at the southwest corner of Mary Louis and Orange Avenue.
Burnett said the county has allowed developers to build multifamily in employment centers, as long as they demonstrate that some of the ground-level units can be converted to nonresidential uses in the future.
The Osceola Corporate Center PD is already home to two completed apartment communities: San Mateo Crossings, which traded for $62 million in 2021, and 19 South, which Fore completed in 2021. It has three more in the pipeline, including about 1,000 units on or near the Tupperware World Headquarters corporate campus.
Miami-based Waterstone Capital bought 16.5 acres east of Orange Avenue with an initial concept for a mixed-use project with three commercial buildings and 448 apartments. The deal closed a year ago, but the company has yet to file a site development plan.
Park Square Enterprises has filed a building permit for a dual-branded hotel in the PD just off Osceola Parkway.
In 2019, Orlando Health locked down 6.3 acres adjacent to its Tupperware campus facilities to accommodate future expansion, which would add to the nonresidential uses. But the hospital hasn’t filed any plans for that property.