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Polk County Developments

Atlanta firm targeting site in Ridgewood Lakes for apartments and townhomes

Atlanta-based multifamily developer PENLER plans a second residential build in the Orlando area with a 325-unit luxury apartment development with an accompanying 100 townhomes on Ernie Caldwell Boulevard in Polk County.

Located near Davenport within the Ridgewood Lakes Development of Regional Impact (DRI), PENLER’s project would be a mile east of Posner Village on 33 acres of vacant land owned by affiliates of Walton Group. The Walton-owned assets comprise 2,609 acres and are entitled for 5,571 dwelling units. The first phase of the DRI was developed by Pulte Group under its Del Webb brand in 2010. D.R. Horton began Phase 2 planning in October 2020 for 1,565 homes.

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D.R. Horton broke its portion up into three communities: Greystone West, Greystone South and Greystone North. DRH started construction at Greystone West along Ridgewood Lakes Boulevard, where it’s currently selling townhomes in Atria at Ridgewood Lakes from its Express Homes brand.

The land Penler plans to use abuts the Greystone North Planned Unit Development. It is part of a 109-acre parcel that is in the North Ridge Selected Area Plan and in Agricultural/Rural Residential-X and Preservation-X land-use districts. The land use density allows for 6-15 dwelling units per acre. That will permit PENLER to have up to 16 units per building provided the overall density is maintained.

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In its application to Polk County, PENLER wrote “We will eventually be seeking an amendment to the DRI to allow for an increase over the maximum number of units allowed per building for the apartment component. Please note that we will still be under the max density allowed per the Ridgewood Lakes DRI.” PENLER held a pre-application meeting with the Development Review Committee earlier this month.

Walton, a multi-national, privately-owned real estate investment and development group, bought the undeveloped Ridgewood Lakes DRI in 2013 and updated the DRI and development order in 2017 to relaunch the community. The residential entitlements include 2,435 single-family detached, 586 townhomes and 2,550 multifamily units.

PENLER was founded in 2019 by Brian Metzler and Graham Carpenter, two former Pollack Shores executives who previously developed projects such as downtown Orlando’s Steelhouse apartments and The Princeton at College Park. The company broke ground on its first Orlando area project in April 2021 in Clermont, just off West Colonial Drive. Construction is now underway at the 288-unit luxury apartment community which will feature one-, two- and three-bedroom floorplans, PENLER’s Carpenter, told GrowthSpotter last week.

The Clermont community is made up of a new product that includes 2-story multifamily homes aimed renters in a post-COVID environment. Each building has 24 garden-style apartments, all with direct entrances. Interiors feature open floor plans, quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances, vinyl plank flooring, high-end lighting, and washers and dryers.

Carpenter told GrowthSpotter last year that this prototype is uniquely well-suited to the Clermont Village site because Lake County’s maximum density is 12 units per acre, whereas other jurisdictions allow up to 18 units per acre for suburban-style apartments.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at Newsroom@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-6261. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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