Dallas-based Fountain Residential Partners (FRP) has a site under contract near the University of Central Florida to make its Orlando market entry, with plans to develop a boutique 130-unit luxury apartment community.
Located at 3210 Rouse Rd., the 5.6-acre parcel lies less than a mile west of UCF's main entrance along University Boulevard. Brent Little, chief executive officer of FRP, said plans called for two, five-story buildings with surface parking and a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments.
“We do focus primarily on cities with major universities,” Little said. The company has developed multiple multifamily developments in cities like Chico, California; Arlington, Texas; and Amherst, Massachusetts.
“We look at demand factors, too, and what we see in northeast Orlando is that occupancies are high,” Little said. He adds, if approved, the proposed project would be closer to the roughly 66,000-student campus than other recently completed developments in the same submarket.
“We think it’s a fantastic location. It was probably overlooked because of its size,” Little said.
Currently, the undeveloped lot is owned by a Beirut, Lebanon-based company called Olton Properties. Records suggest the entity has owned the parcel for more than three decades.
Mark Arnold and Sunny Gandhi of KW Commercial are the brokers behind the transaction.
Whereas most product in the area is strictly targeting students by offering four- and five-bedroom units, Little said this project intends to target the entire university area demographic, which includes Central Florida Research Park employees, university employees, graduate students and undergrads.
The company filed a Land Use Plan in Orange County earlier this week, requesting to rezone the property from R-1A to PD, in order to construct up to 150 student housing beds.
Little said if FRP is successful with the rezoning, it expects to close on the property in the next six to eight months, and break ground by the second quarter of 2020. From there, he said, he imagines a 12-month construction period.
Drawing inspiration from the EOS Apartments complex (one of the newer multifamily developments nearby), Little said the project would share similar features, like an amenitized clubhouse, fitness center and small pool.
The EOS apartment complex was built in 2015 by Atlanta-based Catalyst Development Partners. It sits on 12.75 acres just northwest of the Colonial Drive/S.R.408 interchange, and sold for $52 million in 2016 to Raia Properties Corporation.
Another multifamily complex just two minutes away from the Rouse Road site traded hands in 2018. The 336-unit Arden Villas apartments at 3303 Arden Villas Blvd. sold for $55.5 million to an affiliate of Nuveen Investments.
FRP has built about a dozen student rental projects since 2010 in locations across the country, according to its website. The company is in the midst of developing a 297-unit project by the University of Texas called 8FOUR8 Mitchell.