Miami-based developer considered for multifamily JV behind Mall at Millenia

One of the world's largest real estate-focused investment managers is negotiating a joint venture with a multifamily developer for more apartments behind the Mall at Millenia, a change of direction for property long-anticipated for a final phase of Class-A office buildings.

Chicago-based Barings Real Estate Advisers, formerly known as Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers, owns a 12.8-acre parcel on the eastern dead-end of Millenia Lakes Boulevard.

Then-Cornerstone previously acquired the land and nearby office buildings known as Millenia Lakes I, II and III in 2014, which combine for more than 410,000 square feet of leasable area. 

Back in 2015, the company floated plans through city permitting for fourth and fifth office buildings on the 12.8 acres, for a prospective 262,000 square feet. 

Barings has held off from developing since then, and now apparently views multifamily as a stronger market. 

Miami-based developer American Land Ventures is now a potential new joint venture partner, and began talking last month with city planners about the prospects of building 323 luxury apartments on the site.

Attorney Jim Willard of Shutts & Bowen has represented Barings in local meetings alongside American Land Ventures, whose executive team did not respond to requests for comment.

No formal Master Plan has been filed with the city, but conceptual plans for the community depict seven three-story apartment buildings with a mix of surface and garage parking. Unit sizes range from studios to three-bedrooms, and 623 to 1,450 square feet. 

The parcel's northern end overlooks a large retention pond. Conceptual plans include a waterfront swimming pool area, with a deck extending into the pond that features a fire pit, and "private massage cabanas" built out over the water.

Potential clubhouse amenities include a fitness center, coffee and martini bars and multimedia room, based on early renderings that are subject to change. 

Barings and American Land Ventures have partnered before in Central Florida, most recently on a 358-unit community in St. Petersburg that was built in 2016, and sold this past January for about $354,745 per unit. 

This immediate submarket around the Mall at Millenia has drawn significant multifamily investment in recent years. 

East of the Barings property, multifamily developer BREL Capital has been building a 403-unit second phase of its Millenia 700 apartments southeast of the mall. 

In May 2017, Boston-based Eaton Vance Investment Managers paid $56.5 million for the 329-unit Aqua at Millenia apartments directly adjacent to the Barings site. A Dallas-based developer has had a site east of the mall on Americana Boulevard under contract since December with plans for 215 units, and last December a Utah-based investment group paid $57 million for a 371-unit complex with limited value-add opportunity.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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