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National builder takes over Vista Park development in Southeast Orlando

Pulte Homes submitted this master plan for the future Vista Park mixed-use district. Pulte would be buying all of the single family homesites, a gated residential section (yellow) and the 21-acre town center (red.) The future S. Econlackhatchee Trail extension bisects the community, and eventually would cross over the Beachline Expressway (S.R. 528) into Torrey Preserve.
Pulte Homes submitted this master plan for the future Vista Park mixed-use district. Pulte would be buying all of the single family homesites, a gated residential section (yellow) and the 21-acre town center (red.) The future S. Econlackhatchee Trail extension bisects the community, and eventually would cross over the Beachline Expressway (S.R. 528) into Torrey Preserve. (Canin Associates)

Atlanta-based Pulte Homes is under contract to buy all of the residential sections and the town center in Southeast Orlando’s long awaited Vista Park planned development.

Brunetti Organization, the owner, and Pulte jointly filed a framework master plan for the 1,572-acre development just off Lee Vista Boulevard at the Beachline Expressway. Pulte also filed a Specific Parcel Master Plan for the first of what will be its five development phases.

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Vista Park is entitled for up to 4,300 houses and apartments, 20,000 square feet of office space and 80,000 square feet of retail space. Pulte’s deal includes a total of 3,486 dwelling units, including a gated section for a potential active adult section. The framework plan designates 21 acres for a town center, 4 acres for a police/fire station and 64 acres for neighborhood and community parks.

Pulte has broken the project into five phases, starting in the northeast quadrant with Phase 1 (purple) with access from the Econlockhatchee Trail extension.
Pulte has broken the project into five phases, starting in the northeast quadrant with Phase 1 (purple) with access from the Econlockhatchee Trail extension. (Canin Associates)

Hialeah-based Brunetti will retain 150 acres on the southwest corner of the property. Those are designated for multifamily, retail and office uses.

Last year the Orlando City Council approved a developers agreement with Brunetti that includes $31 million city funding to expand road networks, including the S. Econlockhatchee Trail extension from the north down to S.R. 528. A future overpass would link the community to Torrey Preserve, another mixed-use district owned by Brunetti. In May the company submitted a framework master plan for that property, also known as Brunetti South, that would entitle it for 1,000 residential units, 208,600 square feet of office uses, 300 hotel rooms and nearly 1.4 million square feet of commercial space in the district.

Pulte would start construction in Vista Park on the northeast quadrant, accessing it by the Econ Trail. A second access point would be from the west, through the neighboring Vista Lakes community, by an extension of Passaic Parkway. Phase one is divided into three subphases and has a total of 565 homes. The development program calls for 158 townhomes, 139 rear-alley bungalow units on 34x107 foot lots. The rest are divided between 50- and 60-foot lots that are 125 feet deep.

Phase 1 of Vista Park contains three amenity sites, including this one with a pool and cabana, outdoor kitchen and playground.
Phase 1 of Vista Park contains three amenity sites, including this one with a pool and cabana, outdoor kitchen and playground. (Canin Associates)

The phase one plan also identifies three amenity sites, including a pool and clubhouse with cabanas, play equipment and an outdoor kitchen in Phase 1A and a playground with event lawn in Phase 1B. The third amenity is a linear park, or a mew, with a shade pavilion and 5-foot sidewalk along the entire length of the site and linking to the district-wide trail network.

The master plan sign package includes two 45-foot towers, described as icons, that would be visible from S.R. 528 and S.R. 417.

Canin Associates is the planning and landscaping consultant, while Donald W. McIntosh Associates is the civil engineer for Phase 1.

Meanwhile, Brunetti’s contractors are continuing the voluntary cleanup of the Vista Park site. Buffalo Restoration issued a notice last week that it would be conducting controlled detonations under the approved “blow in place” guidelines established by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. A survey of the property revealed a total of 3,333 pieces of unexploded ordnance on the site.

Earlier this year Brunetti sold 243 acres with prime frontage along State Road 417 to Dalfen Industrial for $15.5 million. Dalfen broke ground earlier this summer on the renamed Vista Commerce Park, which is entitled for over 3 million square feet of industrial space.

Officials with Pulte declined to be interviewed. The publicly-traded company reported a 3% increase to $3.5 billion in sales revenue YOY in its most recent earnings report, prompting President and CEO Ryan Marshall predict to strong finish to 2020 despite the Coronavirus pandemic. In June alone, new home orders rose by 50% over the same month in 2019.

The company has already begun closing land transactions that had been delayed at the onset of the economic shutdown — that was evidenced locally by Pulte’s $22.5 million in land closings this month in Central Florida. The builder is also increasing its ratio of spec homes to meet growing demands.

The company has an active presence in the Southeast Orlando market, most recently with the launches of Pinewood Reserve and Isles of Lake Nona. Just south of the county line, the company opened its Del Webb at Sunbridge active adult community in Osceola County in the spring.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-6261, or tweet me at @byLauraKinsler. Follow GrowthSpotter on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

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