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Local investment firm pays $20M for infill residential development site in east Orlando

An aerial view of the planned residential subdivision at 6540 Lake Underhill Road.
An aerial view of the planned residential subdivision at 6540 Lake Underhill Road. (SJRWMD)

Sentinel Capital is buying into a planned residential development in east Orlando that calls for more than 565 homes.

According to a recently recorded deed in Orange County, Sentinel Capital Baywoods LLC, a company tied to the Orlando-based investment firm, paid $20 million for about 108 acres at 6540 Lake Underhill Road.

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The development site, which is largely wetlands, is entitled for 270 townhomes and 298 single-family homes. A site plan shows the townhome neighborhood will feature two-story townhomes with a neighborhood clubhouse and recreational amenities, and the single-family home subdivision will be gated and feature single and two-story homes with a minimum lot width of 40 feet.

A development team tied to Winter Park-based Jel Site Development Inc., Miami Beach property investor Kenny Goldring and real estate developer Dustin Lucas sold the property.

Chris Hardiman, a principal at Sentinel Capital, told GrowthSpotter the firm is an equity investor partnering with the development team.

“We’re moving dirt right now,” he said. The partnership structure is currently courting homebuilders to team up with, he adds.

Earlier this summer, the partners began submitting permits in the St. Johns River Water Management District seeking to begin infrastructure construction on the roadways and lot grading. The developers also filed engineering plans with City of Orlando in late June.

The Orlando-based developer is seeking to enter into public-private partnership in order to clean up a former dump site near the Waterford Lakes Town Center, and build apartments and walkable commercial/retail/office space.

GTC Engineering, a Baxter and Woodman Company, is the civil engineer.

To mitigate the impact on wetlands, Jel promised to donate about 123 acres of land, known as the Lowe Tract, to the SJRWMD. The tract of land is located near the Christmas community in far east Orange County at 17875 Partin Farms Rd.

In total, the Lowe Tract provides for 85.5 acres of wetland preservation, 27.5 acres of upland preservation, and eight acres of upland enhancement. Records show that after the Baywoods project, the developers have a total of about 13 acres of wetland preservation and eight acres of upland preservation remaining for future mitigation usage.

Baywoods Orlando LLC, an entity led by Jel managers, paid a little more than $2.1 million for the site in 2005. And an operating agreement, filed about ten years later shows, Goldring contributed $8 million in the form of real property, while Jel promised to commit up to $5 million in planning and development expenses.

Nearby the development site, Orlando-based MMI Development just submitted plans in Orange County seeking to restore a contaminated landfill site near the Waterford Lakes Town Center.

The developer is eyeing about 38 acres of land around 10601 Lake Underhill Rd. with the hopes to develop a mixed-use community called Fieldstream Village.

Plans for the multi-phase project include building up to 1,500 apartments, four parking structures and up to 100,000 square feet of walkable retail, restaurant and office space.

Sentinel Capital was founded in 2009 by a small group of private investors who specialized in acquiring and restructuring commercial debt obligations to FDIC insured lenders. Since then, the firm investment model has broadened into other industries and asset classes, such as real estate.

According to Sentinel Capital’s website, the company has made debt and equity investments totaling approximately $700 million.

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Editor’s note: The story has been updated with information provided by representatives at Sentinel Capital.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at arabines@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-5427, or tweet me at @amanda_rabines. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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