UPDATED: JANUARY 7, 2016 6:15 AM — Luxury apartment builder Epoch Residential has paid $5.187 million for three parcels in downtown Maitland that will be developed into a 293-unit apartment complex, a project the city is touting as Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) that will help revitalize the area.
Maitland is labeling the 5.34 acre project, which will run along N. Orlando Avenue, as TOD because it will be within a quick walk of the SunRail station, which Epoch is building a sidewalk to. Dubbed "Maitland Station," Epoch's plans also include a parking garage as high as 68 feet with up to five levels.
The Maitland Station project was first proposed by Epoch in February 2015. As the Orlando Sentinel reported, it was one of four TOD projects near SunRail stations that began construction or development plans early last year.
The project was approved in late April 2015 by Maitland City Council, despite opposition from residents and some council members that the development would not be mixed use, and feature ground-floor retail that would make it more active with pedestrians.
Farley Griner, Epoch's business development director, said the project would keep with the company's upscale approach to apartment building, and all of the units would be housed in one building. Epoch will also manage the site, Griner said.
Maitland sees the development as part of its effort to "more aggressively seek improvements to enhance the economic vitality and vibrancy of the city," according to its development agreement with Winter Park-based Epoch.
The seller of the land was Parker Lumber Company, which operated in the area for four generations before closing in 2011. Principle Larry Parker declined to comment on the sale of his family's property.
The development will be made up of three contiguous parcels acquired from Parker. The largest is 3.65 acres at 851 N. Orlando Ave., which was the home of Parker Lumber. Another parcel, which is 0.79 acres and located at 1011 N. Orlando Ave., was formerly an auto repair shop. The third parcel, 0.9 acres at 905 N. Orlando Ave., was a former strip mall.
Construction is expected to start early this year. As part of Epoch's agreement with Maitland, the company will remove a very large billboard that is on one of the properties and install utilities underground.