More than 80 acres with one of the last large infill development opportunities in the Dr. Phillips housing submarket is under contract for a mix of residential, and land owners are working with Orange County on a new road network to help future residents bypass one of Orlando's busiest intersections.
Based southwest of the intersection of Sand Lake and Turkey Lake roads, with frontage on both Big Sand Lake and Little Sand Lake, the property consists of two parcels totaling roughly 160 gross acres, with about 85 acres of it developable timberland.
Known as the "Grenada property," it's a remnant of more than 700 acres bought on or near Sand Lake Road in the late 1970s by Israeli architect and real estate developer Moshe Mayer, best known for luxury hotels he built in Africa. Most of it is still zoned under the expansive Grenada PD.
When he passed away in 1993, Mayer's local properties were divided between two investment parties from Israel, the Marcent Group and Grenada Group.
Identified as parcels E and F on the proposed road map above (and highlighted in green), the target property is owned by LLC affiliates of the Grenada Group, which has offices in Israel and Switzerland. Its local assets are managed by Orlando attorney Thomas T. Ross, who could not be reached for comment.
The prospective buyer is a national residential developer that is expected to close on the property in the first half of 2017, and has indicated plans for 72 single-family homes, 103 townhomes and 596 apartments on the site, according to county staff.
Adjacent to Orlando's tourism corridor, the land has 1,800 feet of frontage on the two lakes. Windermere and Dr. Phillips make up one of the highest income demographic submarkets in the state, lending this property to high-end residential development.
But the property is landlocked, blocked from Turkey Lake Road by a few hundred feet that's owned by Walmart Stores, Inc., and the county.
To remedy that, Ross, attorneys for the buyer, and county transportation planners have been working on a new road network through the property, and a major pond relocation to make the development feasible.
The agreement proposes two new roads into the property from Turkey Lake Road. One would begin just north of the Phillips Village retail center with a new planned traffic signal, and the other directly south of the retail center, accessing the site through the northern edge of a Walmart Supercenter parking lot, with Walmart agreeing to grant an easement.
The plan also calls for a future extension of the road network northward, through more undeveloped property to connect at a future traffic signal on W. Sand Lake Road.
"There's been multiple parts and pieces on this thing, and relocating an existing pond and reconfiguring it to county standards takes some work," transportation planning manager Renzo Nastasi told GrowthSpotter. "The challenge remains in providing access off of Sand Lake Road. It will be reflected in the agreement the potential timing for that, and who's responsible for what in the future."
The draft road agreement will be reviewed on Wednesday by attorneys and staff at the Roadway Agreement Committee. Typically it would go straight to the Board of County Commissioners after for approval along with its PD zoning, but in this case after RAC, the agreement must go back to the Development Review Committee for informational purposes, to confirm long range plans for identifying the future access point at W. Sand Lake Road on unrelated land.
Attorney Ross also represents the owners of 35.6 acres directly north of the land under contract, Parcel G within the PD, which is owned by Goza LLC, whose managers are from Switzerland and France. Ross told staff in a past meeting those owners are willing to donate right of way at no cost to the county.
North of that property is the actual 9.8 acres that border Sand Lake Road, now developed with a high-rise office building and owned by an affiliate of Great Point Investors out of Boston.
Great Point Investors wasn't brought in on this road agreement process, and would have to eventually approve a Sand Lake Road connection on its property, a requirement for future development of the Goza 35.6 acres.