Atlanta-based Catalyst expands from UCF market to build luxury apartments across from Reunion Resort
By J. Kyle Foster
Jan 03, 2020 | 3:40 PM
The booming Osceola and Polk county-line area is set to get another 280-unit apartment complex. The 12 1/2-acre site - owned by Atlanta-based Catalyst Development Partners - is part of a 40-acre mixed-use development plan called Forest Hills.
“We’re thrilled to announce plans to build our newest mid-rise luxury apartment community in Reunion, FL,” Catalyst Principal Jorge Sardinas told GrowthSpotter. “We’re seeing high demand from a vast demographic to live in the path of growth inherent to Runion and the surrounding submarket of Orlando.”
Located south of Osceola Polk Line Road (County Road 532) and west of Lake Wilson Road in Davenport, Catalyst plans 4-story buildings with views of the lake in walking distance of the nearby Publix-anchored shopping center, Marketing Director Rachael Abt added. Catalyst, which has offices in Ponte Vedra, Florida, is known for its pet-friendly communities, dog spas and parks, smart technology options, along with workout spaces Abt said.
Reunion will be no exception. Reunion isn’t being modeled after a particular Catalyst project, she said, but “it takes the best of what we created in other Florida communities and lessons learned to design this one.” There will be dog spa and a “big bark park” for dogs to run, Abt said.
Catalyst previously has included yoga-spin studios but has found residents prefer high-intensity interval training rooms. Catalyst built EOS Apartments near UCF in 2015 and sold it two years later for $52 million. Catalyst liked the EOS design so much, it built a sister complex named CODA at 13645 E. Colonial Dr., Abt said. Catalyst often sells its developments, she said.
Abt said Catalyst communities attract everyone from single professionals to empty nesters looking to rent before they commit to buying their next home.
“Catalyst attempts to build for a broad appeal,” she said. Catalyst’s third project in central Florida was The Blake in Winter Springs. The Blake’s Web site describes the community: Choose from one, two, and three-bedroom apartment homes with open-concept floor plans and sophisticated finishes. Then, take a personal tour of our elevated amenity spaces featuring a vibrant pool with semi-private cabanas, grand clubroom with gaming and media center, and 24-hour fitness club that will replace your existing gym membership.
Forest Hills master development was filed in July with Polk County by Hamilton Engineering and Surveying. The development plans include retail and townhouses – a plat request for 7 lots to include multi-family, townhouses and some retail is under review, Development & Customer Service Manager Thado “Nick” Hays told GrowthSpotter.
A traffic study was submitted Polk County in August. Forest Hills will have two access points, both connecting to Osceola Polk Line Road. The main access is located at the existing signalized intersection of Osceola Polk Line Road and Reunion Boulevard. Currently the intersection has signals operating the Southbound, Eastbound, and Westbound movements.
There is a proposal for the Northbound operation to be incorporated into the overall operation of the intersection, according to land-development records Polk County developers made their last reviews of the Reunion project Dec. 5 and are asking for a few more details, Principal Planner Erik Peterson told GrowthSpotter.
“Catalyst Reunion is in the Engineer’s control,” Peterson wrote in an email. Planners want some added engineering details, utility capacity modeling, and some permits from Osceola (County) and FDEP (Florida Department of Environmental Protection).
“Nothing out of the ordinary,” Peterson wrote. “We should see a resubmittal soon.”
Engineering firm Kimley-Horne and Associates has had many projects in Polk County.
The area near Osceola Polk Line is a hot spot for tourists and residents – its proximity to I-4 and Orlando and increasing nearby amenities are attractive. The property sits west of Publix located on the southwest corner of C.R. 532 and Lake Wilson Road. Orlando Health paid $14.4 million in May for nearly 28 acres to build a future healthcare campus in Reunion Village at the C.R. 532 interchange at Interstate 4.
“This type of development is important to Polk County because it is consistent with the growth direction as established by the County’s Comprehensive Plan, while maximizing the return on infrastructure investments( improvements) made within the area over the years,” Hays told GrowthSpotter in an email.
Other nearby developments include New York-based Sovereign Properties: $10.2 million purchase in August of a 92-acre entitled Planned Development just south of Reunion Resort. The Mixed-Use project was permitted by FHC Development and approved for 116,228 square feet of commercial and 347 townhomes and apartments.
RIDA Development Corp. is pre-leasing its nearly completed The Preserve, another Class A community in ChampionsGate, by the end of the year. And DeBartolo Development built 324 units in Reunion in 2019.