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Four Corners set for more apartments as increased rents become attractive to builders

In the master-planned Posner City Center, Intram Investments is prepping for the second phase of its Posner Village shopping center. Continental Properties is currently building the Springs at Posner apartment complex, and the owner has a buyer under contract for another multifamily site, outlined in red.
In the master-planned Posner City Center, Intram Investments is prepping for the second phase of its Posner Village shopping center. Continental Properties is currently building the Springs at Posner apartment complex, and the owner has a buyer under contract for another multifamily site, outlined in red. (RUSSELL AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY/Intram Investments)

Davenport may soon have a new luxury apartment community at Posner Village in Four Corners.

Columbus, Georgia-based Flournoy Partners is under contract to buy and develop about seven acres of land in the mixed-use district on U.S. Highway 27, just off the I-4 interchange.

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“We have just recently started due diligence on this site,” Jake Flournoy told GrowthSpotter. There will be 313 apartments, he adds. Features include a resort-style pool and fitness center. "We’re in the conceptual planning stage right now.”

Flournoy declined to disclose the purchase price, but said he expects to close on the property by the fourth quarter and start construction around the same time.

The Posner area is attractive on many levels, Flournoy said, including additional entertainment and shopping growth.

"We are hopeful for more entertainment amenities to come in this location, which would further enhance the synergy of the live-work-play,” he said. “We feel like the Posner Park retail growth has indicated that this submarket is vibrant and the massive traffic count combined between State Road 27 and Interstate 4 along with the convenience of pedestrian walkability… make this a unique and convenient location for luxury apartments.”

Kimley-Horn planner Mark Wilson is the engineer of record. Flournoy said the firm is in talks with general contractors.

Polk County planner Erik Peterson told GrowthSpotter the project is a sign of continued growth in the area. Another apartment complex in Four Corners currently is under construction, he said.

“We have been in such an apartment deficit,” Peterson said. “We haven’t been as competitive in Polk. We don’t get the kind of rents you get in Hillsborough and Tampa metro area. We’re catching up quickly, which is making it more attractive for apartment builders.”

This will be the developer's second new apartment complex in Central Florida. The Posner site is just off I-4 and is walking distance to shopping, dining and transit facilities.

In Orange and Osceola counties over the past few years, apartment rents averaged $1,200, while Polk was only averaging $700 a month, Peterson said. Today, Polk is garnering about $1,200 per month, while the other counties get $1,500. Orlando led all southern cities over the last decade with a 39-percent increase in rental rates, according to Zillow.

“The gap is getting closer,” Peterson said. “It’s a big investment – as opposed to single family developments, where you can build one lot at a time; you have to build 300 at a time.” Polk County is “ripe for bigger investments,” Peterson said. “There are people here renting these units and they are filling up quickly once they are open. I don’t think it’s going to slow down until one opens up and it’s half empty each year.”

Most of the new Class A multifamily development in Polk County has taken place around the ChampionsGate area on C.R. 532 and on the Hwy. 27 corridor.

Find out how what the developer used for collateral to secure the capital, and how it hopes to turn that into more local assets.

Cushman and Wakefield’s Andy Slowick and his partner, Marjorie Johnson, are brokering the deal. The partners also brokered the sale of the adjacent 16 acres to Wisconsin-based Continental Properties last fall.

One of the largest multifamily developers in the nation, Continental is currently building Springs at Posner Park, a 288-unit apartment community in the mixed-use district. Polk County is recently completed an intermodal transit station in Posner Village that will allow Polk transit riders to connect to greater Orlando’s LYNX public transit via Haines City.

Posner Park has over 600,000 square feet of retail which includes Target, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Ross Dress for Less, Michaels, and Cinepolis IMAX Theater.

Intram Investments opened Phase 1 of the Posner Village retail center last year and is now marketing Phase 2. Slated for 93,000 square feet of retail uses, it would be immediately south of the new apartment community.

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Meanwhile, in Orange County, Flournoy Partners is in the midst of completing its 330-unit Essex at Universal apartment community, located north of the Las Palmeras by Hilton Grand Vacations timeshare hotel.

Flournoy said he expects first occupancies in April and final completion of the project by the third quarter of this year.

Editor Laura Kinsler contributed to this report.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story included the involvement of BTI Partners. The company is not involved in the latest development plans.

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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