Orlando-based Elevation Development is considering whether to build townhomes or build-to-rent multifamily units on property about a mile south of Posner Park mall along U.S. Highway 27, and next to its retail project known as Shoppes at Citrus Ridge.
The company’s initial residential plan for 19.6 acres included townhomes and possibly a hotel, but at a pre-application meeting with the Polk County Development Review Committee (DRC) this month, Elevation principal Owais Khanani said the company is looking at two options – townhomes or build-to-rent – and how to get each approved whenever it makes a decision. The project is called St. Charles Square.
Single-family build-for-rent (SFBFR) communities are among the fastest growing housing asset classes in the nation and Polk County has two in the works.
“BTR model has been very successful in several markets,” Khanani told GrowthSpotter. “It’s just a matter of time for it to pick up pace here, in Central Florida. We have been approached by several BTR companies for opportunities in some of our developments however, in my opinion, an entire BTR community would be more advantageous on its own rather than a portion with a fee simple community.”
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.
Elevation’s conceptual plan by Hamilton Engineering & Surveying Inc. for build to rent include 224 units with one owner as a multi-family horizontal complex.
The property starts at Citrus Ridge and runs up to and across Minute Maid Ramp Road – currently a dirt road.
Plans show a mix of one-bedroom and two-bedroom units with two parking spaces per unit as required by the county. The second option is the original townhome idea with 226 units and a recreation center.
Each building would have eight units, and the required two parking spaces each. Both plans include two retention ponds. Elevation will make its final decision on building model in the next couple of weeks and expects to open residential units in 12 to 15 months.
The biggest issue at the DRC was a requirement for Elevation to build out the dirt road along the entire development from the entrance along the whole property. The road would need to be 50 feet wide minimum or 40 feet if the company adds in curb and gutter.
Elevation’s residential plans show its Citrus Ridge retail complex along the north-south U.S. 27 at Citrus Ridge Road that still includes a hotel, but that is not in the residential request.
Planet Fitness signed a lease last year for a nearly 20,000-square-foot fitness center in Shoppes at Citrus Ridge. Elevation plans also show a 36,000 square foot drive-in storage center in the Shoppes. Khanani said Elevation is also finalizing a lease with a national gas and convenience store user for the corner at Citrus Ridge and U.S. 27.
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