UPDATED: March 13, 2019 9:45 AM — Less than a year after acquiring AV Homes and all its assets, Taylor Morrison Homes is looking to divest of more than 2,600 acres in the Poinciana area of Osceola and Polk counties.
The two Arizona-based builders announced the merger in June of 2018 and closed the deal in October. Now Taylor Morrison has engaged CBRE South Florida to market multiple former AV Homes assets, including two that both have approved Planned Development zoning.
"Based on significant unsolicited interest received after our recent AV merger acquisition, Taylor Morrison is considering options related to the large future master plan development, previously referred to as Solivita Grand," Orlando Division President Brian Brunhofer told GrowthSpotter on Tuesday.
"We are not divesting our remaining positions in Solivita, or the various other active communities we have in the Poinciana area, but rather running a parallel track to develop and build both of these parcels should we not find buyers we feel are an appropriate fit for these sites," he added.
Raleigh Steinhaugher, government affairs director for the Greater Orlando Builders Association said the offering makes sense, especially from a geographical standpoint. "Taylor Morrison did not have a presence in Osceola prior to the merger. It was more focused on Orange and Seminole counties."
Taylor Morrison closed out 2018 with approximately 57,000 lots owned or controlled and more than 6,000 homes in inventory, according to its Fourth Quarter earnings report.
Each homebuilder had 17 active communities at the time of the merger, but there was little overlap. Steinhaugher said Taylor Morrison has a core market in Orange and Seminole counties.
"We saw that with Lennar and CalAtlantic, as well," he said. "They're going to evaluate which projects work for the new company. I don't think it's part of a larger divestiture."
Solivita Grand was intended to be a northern extension of the builder's popular Solivita retirement community, but without age restrictions. The 2,549-acre property is west of the Poinciana Parkway toll road and straddles the Osceola-Polk county line.
It's entitled for more than 5,000 units of both single family and multifamily residential uses, plus over 1.4 million square feet of commercial space.
John Adams, Vice President of Rj Whidden & Associates, said the Solivita Grand entitlements have been vested for decades and actually pre-date the Poinciana Parkway. "These entitlements were approved even before the DRI law came into effect," he said.
Rj Whidden and Carnahan Proctor & Cross masterplanned the entire development west of the toll road.
They also represented AV Homes in 2017, winning approval for a PD amendment for one of the neighborhoods that was cut off from the rest of the community by the toll road. That parcel is not included in the offering.
All but 133.5 acres are in Osceola County. The Polk County portion, which is being offered as one of four pods, is at northwest corner of Poinciana Parkway and Cypress Parkway and is envisioned as a commercial center with entitlements for 700+ apartments and over 430,000 square feet of commercial uses.
The 91.4 acres at the northeast quadrant of the Cypress-Poinciana Parkway interchange, located in Osceola County, is also being offered for sale. It's located in a Qualified Opportunity Zone and is entitled for 454 apartment units along with 704,900 sf of commercial, retail, restaurant, and medical office development, according to CBRE.
Adams, an entitlements specialist, also worked with AV Homes on the BLIM (Binding Letter of Interpretation for Modification) to the vested rights for the seperate offering, known as the Solstice property. This 82-acre parcel also has an approved PD for a residential mixed-use community just north of the Poinciana SunRail station.
The builder has an environmental resource permit from South Florida Water Management District and submitted a CPC-engineered Preliminary Subdivision Plan for the largely residential community comprised of 211 detached homes and a separate 116-unit townhome community and small commercial tract. That PSP is attached to the CBRE offering, however Osceola County planners have said it doesn't meet the density requirements for the station area.
Adams said that neighborhood's transition to a transit-oriented mixed-use corridor is complicated because several of the surrounding property owners still hold entitlements for industrial uses. Frito Lay announced plans last year to build a $130 million advanced fulfillment center just across S Poinciana Boulevard.
"That area was industrial when there was a rail line there, before SunRail was ever conceived," he said. "Whoever does ultimately buy it will have to do their due diligence."