Davenport is attracting more build-for-rent communities with Birmingham, Alabama-based Capstone Communities planning a nearly 300-unit single-family development near the Polk-Osceola county line.
The proposed site lies within the 107-acre Four Corners Town Center DRI on U.S. Hwy 27 at Ronald Reagan Parkway. The site is approved for a regional mall with entitlements for 1 million square feet of retail-commercial space and a movie theater.
Capstone is under contract to buy about 24 acres on the southern boundary, fronting on Dunson Road., to build stand-alone homes intended as rental properties. Last month, Fort Lauderdale-based Stellar Communities filed plans in Polk County to build 180 detached one-, two- and three-bedroom single-family homes on part of the 32.4 acres the company is buying and then 300 apartment units on another part of the land.
Capstone wants to build 280 to 290 one and 2-bedroom single story attached homes and 3-bedroom standalone homes, some with garages, Capstone’s Jim Beatty told the county Development Review Committee (DRC) during a pre-application conference. The community will primarily have attached units but with no more than two units together, Beatty told the DRC. “We’re trying to accomplish a sense of community. Everything about this community will have the look and feel of single-family neighborhood.”
Single-family build-for-rent (SFBFR) communities are among the fastest growing housing asset classes in the nation. In these communities, the builders offer fewer floorplans and exterior elevations than traditional primary residential communities. The home’s interior finishes are comparable to a Class-A apartment. The properties often have 2-year leases and tend to attract professional millennials, empty-nesters and families or singles seeking space, privacy and community amenities but either don’t want to buy and have to deal with maintenance and upkeep or can’t afford to buy.
Each of the Capstone planned homes will have a yard, and the community will have a clubhouse and a pool. The rest of the amenities are to be determined. Located south of Dean Still Road, the proposed community currently is called Cottages of Davenport, according to an initial site plan created by Birmingham, AL-based Nequette Architecture & Design. . “The intent to provide a new-urbanism experience,” Beatty said.
Floor plans for a similar Capstone project in Huntsville, AL, show homes between 673 and 1,346 square feet. Residential amenities include nine to 12-foot ceilings, granite countertops, wood-grain flooring, in-unit washers and dryers, a smart home technology package, fitness center, resort-style pool, centralized clubhouse, dog park, electric car charging stations, car care center, pet spa, 24/7 on-call maintenance and optional enclosed garage parking.
Capstone Communities was formed in January 2012 as part of the restructuring of Capstone Development, an active developer of student housing in the U.S. for more than 21 years. Capstone Development had a portfolio that included 118 communities in 31 states which reflected almost $2.7 billion in project costs and 58,000 beds. Capstone Communities carries on Capstone Development’s legacy in the student housing industry with a specific focus on off campus/new construction developments, according to the company’s Web site.
The demand for rental properties is on the rise across the country and in Florida and Polk County as populations increase. The number of renters in Florida increased to 2.59 million from 1.82 million households between 2000 and 2017, according to a University of Florida housing study. According to the Shimberg Center for Housing Studies, Polk County’s population is expected to increase to 794,104 in 2030 and 883,401 in 2040 versus 602,095 in 2019.
Orlando-based Foundry Commercial represents longtime owners Albertson International and Centrecorp. They are working with Capstone’s planning team to apply for a comprehensive plan amendment to change the future land use from Regional Activity Center to Medium Density Residential. Polk County planner Michelle Orton explained that the existing land use allows for a residential density of 15 to 25 dwelling units per acre, while residential medium allows for 6-10 units per acre.
Final approval will require readings at two board of county commissioners’ meetings. The next application deadline is June 6. Orton said the planning staff recommends approval for the land-use change.
In 2017 the owners sought a CPA that would have allowed for a 1.5 million-square-foot logistics center, but commissioners rejected the proposal.