An affiliate of design/build contractor FINFROCK paid $6.5 million on Thursday for the majority of a 2.41-acre site in Ivanhoe Village now home to the Baldwin-Fairchild Funeral Home, which is planned for a nine-story, 260-unit apartment complex by Winter Park-based Alliance Residential Company.
The sale agreement Alliance made with Baldwin-Fairchild gives it 15 month to move out of the property after a transaction. With FINFROCK fronting the cost now to start that countdown clock, it places a groundbreaking for the project in September 2018.
"I'm a believer that this is one of the best sites in all of Orlando for multifamily," president Bill Finfrock told GrowthSpotter on Thursday. "I realize we took a little extra risk on this one compared to what most contractors would do, but I believe in the project eneough that even if there's a 2008-style downtown in the market, ultimately this will always be a great site to build apartments."
Planned for 301 N. Ivanhoe Blvd., the project would occupy 2.41 acres across two parcels, the bulk of which is the 2.11-acre property now home to the Baldwin-Fairchild Funeral Home.
That land is owned by the Erika M. Baldwin Trust, managed by Matthias & Matthias PL in Winter Park. FINFROCK's buyer affiliate sourced a $4.5 million loan directly from the seller.
Alliance and FINFROCK are still refining its design for the project's architectural review with city staff, and will have meetings with city planners in the coming weeks for that final approval, said Alliance's director of development Tim Graff.
Alliance has a joint venture partner in the development, affirmed Graff, which he declined to name.
Production of construction documents would take another four to five months after final design approval, likely to start this August or September, Finfrock said. Once submitted, those could take three months or more to earn construction permit approval from the city.
A 0.30-acre portion in the northeast corner of the project site is owned by Doug Toler, currently serving as the rear to A and T Antiques that fronts N. Orange Avenue. That land would be included in the development via a lot split.
Alliance has agreements in place to buy the Toler property and the funeral home parcel from FINFROCK's affiliate, pending approval of plans by the city.
First reported here on Jan. 23, Alliance initially filed its Master Plan with the city for "Broadstone Lake House" as a 10-story, 288-unit multifamily building with an estimated 39,000 square feet of live/work space on the ground floor, and an integrated nine-story parking garage.
That was followed by a Planning Board hearing in March, where the project was delayed a month amidst vocal opposition by a group of area stakeholders, who challenged the building's potential traffic impact, the developer's need for height and density waivers, and what they deemed an unattractive design.
The development would lie a half-block west of Real Estate Inverlad Development's 7.6-acre The Yard at Ivanhoe, where site work is underway for what will be 630 apartments with 57,000 square feet of retail across three buildings.
Alliance agreed to reduce the height from 10 to 9 stories, and cut the unit count from 288 to 260. It re-purposed the live/work office space on the ground floor as 33,158 square feet of collaborative office space and a 2,574-square-foot corner restaurant.
The developer also presented a new color scheme for the building of white and aquamarine, and proposed public art on the boulevard frontage near the restaurant. The MPB recommended approval for the project on April 18, which was accepted by City Council on May 15.