In the past year, Titan Properties has secured roughly 35 acres of property in Horizon West’s Village I along Avalon and Flemings Road for $5.6 million.
Now, with deeds in hand, the company is looking to add those parcels — plus another one snagged in 2016 — to its already expansive planned mixed-use development in order to bring this red-hot Orlando submarket even more housing.
In total, an application pending approval from Orange County seeks to extend the Gem Groves PD by 54 acres for another 347 residential units. If approved, the entitlements for the planned development program would increase from a total of 807 residential units to 1,154 residential units.
According to a land-use plan drafted by planning and engineering firm Poulos & Bennett, one parcel, a triangular piece totaling just shy of three acres, would be added to the PD’s village center at the southwest intersection of Flemings and Avalon roads. The other parcels would be added to land set aside for multifamily development to the southeast of the village center, plans show.
The PD also holds entitlements for 200,000 square feet of commercial space and includes plans for a future elementary school on 15 acres.
The PD has development activity underway.
Ohio-based homebuilder M/I Homes purchased a little more than 200 acres on the west side of the PD, along the north side of Flemings Road, in September of last year for $25.8 million.
Months later, the county commission approved a preliminary subdivision plan for these parcels that calls for the construction of 437 attached and detached single-family homes along Lake Star.
M/I Homes — which has four other projects in Horizon West— is currently developing land for the 270-lot first phase of this community, called Lake Star at Ovation.
The site sits to the north of the homebuilder’s similar Encore at Ovation subdivision on the opposite side of Flemings Road. Here, townhomes and houses are available for sale from $375,000 to$572,990.
“Horizon West is Orlando or Central Florida’s most desirable address,” said Jeff Kaizer, M/I’s vice president of sales and marketing. “And so obviously builders fight to get position” here.
He notes the area has become even more competitive of late since Village I is the last of the five Horizon West villages where large swaths of land are available for development.
“We are down to the last village and then it’s complete,” he said. “No one ever dreamed that when it began it would ever be complete, but it’s close to being complete.”
Kaizer said the scope of the Lake Star at Ovation property allows the company to offer a range of housing products a short drive from the gates of Disney World.
“The nice thing about it is that there will be incredible reach for our buyers,” he said. “M/I Homes believes that we should be the builder for as many price points as we can possibly do. The townhomes will reach down to the entry-level buyer and then we can reach all the way up to the final home for folks. And we can do everything in between.”
The community will feature detached homes from the company’s Avenue Collection, seen as a “next step up” from the townhome with a middle-of-the-pack price range. These would be alley-loaded with garages in the rear with 1,803 to 2,780 square feet. There will also be larger-lot estate homes, Kaizer said.
“It’s something for everyone,” he added, “from every chapter of life.”
He’s hopeful the community can start welcoming buyers by the fall of 2023.
Winter Park-based Titan Properties began pursuing the Gem Groves PD in late 2018, two years after buying the land as part of a 464-acre, $9.8 million purchase.
The company also assembled property in Horizon West’s Village H where M/I Homes is building its Tribute at Ovation community, which will consist of 99 alley-loaded townhomes along the east side of Avalon Road. These townhomes will be similar to the ones going in Lake Star at Ovation.
Also in Village H, Titan Properties did the land development work to clear the way for the 340-unit Vintage Horizon West apartment community built by Tennessee-based TDK Construction. After opening in 2021, the asset was sold in April to California-based Versity Invest for $119.6 million, according to deed records.
Dell Avery, the principal with Titan Properties, was not immediately available for comment.
Several development projects are in the pipeline for Village I.
Jacksonville-based Dream Finders Homes continues to fine-tune plans for its 227-lot Serenade at Ovation community along the shores of Lake Oliver.
To the south, Dream Finders is building in the 455-lot Accolades at Ovation subdivision.
On the other side of Avalon Road, an entity called Floribra Land is seeking to rezone 97 acres in order to build 516 multifamily units and 196 townhomes, according to an application submitted to the county in early August.
Just south of the Horizon West boundary, Unicorp National Developments is working to expand the scope of a mixed-use project planned for Avalon Road near Four Corners.
In April, the Orlando-based company laid out a vision for 139 acres owned by Westgate Resorts near Winter Garden with a proposal to bring the area 20,000 square feet of commercial space and a mix of housing types. Unicorp, in an application submitted to Orange County at that time, stated its intention to build 304 apartment units while making lots shovel-ready for another developer to come in and place 253 attached and detached single-family homes.
But Chuck Whittall, the CEO of Unicorp, told GrowthSpotter recently he’s not planning to start construction on any new projects in 2023 due to high construction costs and interest rates.
“We are waiting to see how the market pans out,” he said. “You’ve got a perfect storm right now with high interest rates and high inflation costs. We can only charge so much for rent, whether it’s retail space or apartments...and we believe that we are pushing the rent ceiling. We are entering a time when it doesn’t make sense to build.”