Rio de Janeiro-based residential developer Lancelot Incorporações has found its footing in U.S. development over the past year, with its first phase of vacation homes under construction in Kissimmee. The group now wants to branch out into multi-family, and is seeking urban infill land across Greater Orlando, its local manager told GrowthSpotter.
First reported by GrowthSpotter in May 2015, local affiliate Lancelot America submitted plans last year for a 99-unit first phase of Summerville Resort on Old Lake Wilson Road, just off U.S. 192. The developer paid $1.25 million for the original 18-acre parcel, which is south of the new Walmart Supercenter.
That phase has been permitted, site work finished and vertical construction began in March by general contractor Jordan Construction & Development, said Lancelot's Alex Freire.
"We expect to deliver Phase 1 by December, with $30 million in projected buildout cost through then," said Freire, following a grand opening party held May 25 at the Hilton Orlando, attended by a mostly Brazilian crowd of 200-plus, composed of investors, local real estate brokers and Brazilian actress Giovanna Antonelli, a spokeswoman for the project and one of its first homeowners.
"We learned a lot from this process with Phase 1. We now want to deliver those units to buyers on time, have Summerville up and running, and concentrate our efforts on our next property."
The group bought a 4.65-acre tract directly north of Summerville Resort last December for $1.6 million, intended for Phase 2. A site plan has been approved by Osceola County, but Lancelot is now having architect The Evans Group revise the plans by adding larger units with six bedroom suites, in response to greater demand for the largest units in Phase 1, Freire said.
"Phase 2 should be about 50 units, another $18 million in investment, and we're now working on final design of the building interiors," he said.
Lancelot has pre-sold nearly 30 units in Summerville's Phase 1 thus far, with the vast majority of buyers coming from abroad, most of those being Brazilian, Freire said.
Founded in Rio in 2005, Lancelot Incorporações developed and served as construction manager on high-end single family homes in dozens of gated communities in Rio de Janeiro. The group pursued its first venture in the United States in 2014, targeting Orlando to develop what is now Summerville Resorts.
The developer's private financing has come from its CEO, Jose Robert Vasconcelos, whose family built its wealth in Brazil's education sector.
The group's second local development, Cypress Sound Resort in Orange County, will focus on more than 7.5 acres of developable land that fronts Winter Garden Vineland Road near Walt Disney World's Epcot and Magic Kingdom, adjacent to Grand Cypress Golf Resort and east of Disney's new high-end Golden Oak development.
The property lies in the heart of the tourism corridor, and offers ideal views of Disney's evening fireworks. Originally slated last year for 84 units, Lancelot hit pause in recent months to go back to the drawing board, Freire said.
"After talking to buyers and investors we realized there is demand for something truly unique, because of this location facing the Four Seasons and the evening fireworks," he said. "So we're talking again with architects for the perfect project, something ultra-high luxury. Our Development Plan allow for 84 units but we may bring that down to 60 so they're roomier. We're also designing star-gazing terraces, a feature you don't find everywhere."
The Cypress Sound property was acquired in November 2014 for $2.5 million by a Lancelot affiliate LLC.
Looking beyond Cypress Sound, Lancelot America is actively seeking undeveloped tracts of 12 acres or more to hold for future development. The group may branch out into new development types, including urban multi-family, with an interest in banking available tracts in downtown Orlando, Winter Park and other local cities, Freire said.