Miami-based Waterstone Capital paid $11.45 million Friday for 16.5 acres next to the Tupperware SunRail station and plans to build 448 transit-oriented apartments.
This is the developer’s first project in Central Florida, and it’s the third TOD housing community within walking distance of the transit station and Orlando Health Tupperware Campus.
Waterstone Managing Director Mauricio Bello told GrowthSpotter they’re looking to do a four- or five-story complex with concrete construction and surface parking. Bello said he’s already met with Osceola County staff, and they’re excited about the project. He hopes to have permits in hand within eight months.
“Our intention is to move fast with this development,” Bello said. “We know the challenges right now that the market is presenting in terms of construction cost and materials and all that. But we feel confident that with this amazing location, we need to move forward. There’s a lot of demand from people moving to Florida, to Orlando and Tampa, so the time is right to do a development like this.”
Bello said the decision to go with concrete over wood construction is to generate a better cap rate upon exiting the asset. “And right now, the difference between the price of concrete versus wood is not so high, so it’s worth it to do that exercise and do concrete construction,” he said.
LV Lending, a Miami-based private lender focused on bridge loans for commercial and residential investment properties and developments, provided $5.73 million in financing for the acquisition and permit approvals. Financing was arranged by Camilo Niño, Ricardo Uribe, and Alen Hernandez of LV Lending. Waterstone has engaged Harris Civil Engineers and expects to submit a Site Development Plan shortly.
Bello said Waterstone has a longstanding relationship with Miami-based architecture firm Behar Font, which will be designing the Tupperware apartments. “Right now they are doing three projects for us — a hotel next to the Fort Lauderdale airport and a skilled nursing facility in South Miami,” he said. “They’re very, very experienced, and they do a lot of multifamily work.”
The property is part of the approved Osceola Corporate Center Planned Development, which was redesigned by Tupperware to complement the new transit service. Tupperware sold the 37-acre station area, along with all of its land assets, to O’Connor Capital Partners in 2019 for $87 million.
The master plan calls for up to 1,700 multifamily residential units, 180,000 square feet of retail, a 120-room hotel and 60,000 square feet of office space. OCP Development Director Peter Bergner said the phase sold to Waterstone was envisioned to be 4- or 5-story wood-frame buildings on a concrete parking podium. As the district matured, the density and building height would increase.
“It was always our intention to build this stuff, but we are being bombarded by potential developers,” Bergner said. “You’ve got to know when to hold them, and when to sell them. The market is just on fire right now because it’s an infill location.”
The first multifamily development in the master plan was completed in 2019. San Mateo Crossing, a 352-unit, luxury, garden-style apartment community at 1245 Pacifica Dr. sold for $64.2 million in September.
This year Fore Property Company completed 19 South, a 384-unit apartment community on Osceola Parkway.
If OCP had followed through on its original plan to self-develop the entire station area, they might wait until the first residential project is stabilized before building the next. But Bergner said that’s no longer the case, and he is negotiating other deals that should close in early 2022.
“The demand is so fierce for product down there, we will supply the market as needed,” he said.