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Orlando staff to meet with six bidders for Clear Lake redevelopment site

Orlando staff to meet with six bidders for Clear Lake redevelopment site
Six developers with experience in the affordable housing sector submitted bids for a 4.7-acre infill site in the Clear Lake neighborhood south of Camping World Stadium. (Orange County Property Appraiser/staff edit)

Orlando Economic Development Director Brooke Bonnett was right to be optimistic about the timing of the city's offering of a 4.7-acre redevelopment site near Camping World Stadium.

The city received six bids -- all from companies with a successful track record of building affordable and mixed-income housing in Orlando.

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Bonnett met Tuesday with staff from the several city departments, including the Downtown Development Board and Blueprint program, to decide how to shortlist the group based on the initial proposals.

The committee decided to meet with all of the firms in January. In the meantime, it wants more details about the financing arrangements from each company and whether they intend to apply for Low Income Housing Tax Credits.

"All six teams are known entities throughout our community, and they're all experienced, so that's why I landed on the spot of giving them all opportunities to present," Bonnett said.

Oren Henry, Director of Housing and Community Development, said the proposals contained a variety of housing types, ranging from 3- and 4-story apartment buildings to townhomes. One proposed an age-restricted housing complex, and another pitched mixed-use with neighborhood retail. The bid packages remain sealed, but the city released the names of the bidders.

  • American Residential Communities: Based in Winter Park, the firm has completed several LIHTC properties in Orange and Osceola counties. Those include Madison Crossing, a pair of senior housing apartment towers in Kissimmee.

  • Cely Consulting and Votum Construction: The city is giving extra consideration to minority- and women-owned businesses, and both of these firms qualify. Cely consulted on a $10 million project at Orlando International Airport. Votum has served as project manager on several large projects, including the Florida A&M University College of Law. 

  • Hannibal Square Community Land Trust: The city of Winter Park has partnered with the Hannibal Square CLT to build single family homes and rental units in the community. In that case, the city bought the land and donated it to the trust. The non-profit trust would retain the Orange Center Boulevard land and sell townhomes as a discounted price.

  • InVictus Development: The Tampa-firm won a competitive bid process in 2016 as the chosen developer for 6.34 city-owned acres in Parramore, with plans for 211 units of mixed-income residential across two phases. After multiple delays, Phase 1 is now under construction. 

  • LIFT Orlando: LIFT Orlando secured LIHTC this year and is currently building Phase 2 of its Pendana at West Lakes affordable senior housing complex, which is directly across the street from the the subject property.

  • RUDG LLC and Orlando Neighborhood Improvement Corporation, Inc.: RUDG is an affiliate of Related Group, which got its start 40 years ago in the affordable housing sector. Since 1989, ONIC has developed, codeveloped, or partnered in 24 communities in Central Florida representing a total of 2857 residential units.

The city published the solicitation in mid November for redevelopment bids of the former Colonial Manor, Savoy and Lakeview apartments on Orange Center Boulevard, between S. John Young Parkway and S. Tampa Avenue. The city acquired the vacant 1950s-era apartment buildings last year through a bankruptcy sale for $700,000 and recently demolished them at a cost of $331,708.

Although the site is composed of six individual parcels, the city is treating the 4.7 acres as one redevelopment site. The successful bidder would be eligible for up to $1 million in impact fee credits for the infill redevelopment.

Following the presentations, the selection committee will provide a ranking to the city's Chief Financial Officer, who would make a recommendation to City Council.

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

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