Wisconsin-based Continental Properties paid $4.15 million last week for a 22-acre site in Kissimmee's Tapestry master-planned community.
The developer broke ground Tuesday on a 288-unit luxury apartment complex called Springs at Tapestry, scheduled to open in Fall 2017.
Marketing Manager Jean Jones told GrowthSpotter the company picked Kissimmee as its entry into the Central Florida market because of its strong economy - particularly the 4.5-percent annual job growth.
"We also look at apartment fundamentals, including occupancy rates and rent growth," she said. "Both have been very favorable. Third, the metro area population is projected to continue to grow for the next five years."
The site's proximity to shopping and other amenities in the highly sought-after LOOP area was another factor.
The gated complex on Dyer Boulevard will have 13 buildings with attached and detached garages built around a large pond. Each unit will have a "townhouse-style" private entry and wood-grain flooring in the common areas. Upgraded units will come equipped with stainless-steel appliances.
It will have 144 two-bedroom units and 144 studio or one-bedroom units. The plan also calls for a clubhouse with a free coffee-bar, 24-hour fitness center, pool, leash-free dog parks and a pet spa.
Based just outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Continental has developed 49 apartment communities, including five on Florida's Gulf Coast. The company launched its Springs Apartments brand in Bradenton and is growing rapidly.
Jones said the company is halfway into an aggressive five-year growth plan launched in 2014. Over the last two years, Continental broke ground on 19 communities with 5,392 homes, making it the country's 11th largest apartment developer over that time period.
Since August, Continental has closed on multifamily sites in Colorado, Texas, Georgia and Louisiana in addition to the Kissimmee site. Jones said the company is eyeing multiple locations in Florida.