Single-family homes segment in flux for 126-acre Avian Pointe in Apopka

A Tampa-based developer behind the 126-acre, master-planned Avian Pointe community in Apopka is revising plans for its multifamily segment, and may now have a 30-acre parcel once under contract to D.R. Horton back on the market. 

The massive land assemblage features frontage to the east along S.R. 429/414, just south of U.S. 441 and a mile south of the new Wekiva Parkway extension. CalAtlantic Homes' gated community Clear Lake Landings lies directly southeast. 

Master developer Mercury Advisors has owned most of the property since the mid-2000s, and has ties to a Dutch pension fund. 

Initially proposed in 2014, The site is entitled for 58 single-family homes, 216 townhomes and 484 apartments, with another 19.65 acres reserved for recreational and commercial mixed uses, which allow for a school, hotel, office or senior living facility.

An amendment went before Apopka's City Council on Wednesday for its Planned Unit Development and Master Plan, asking to change the maximum building height and number of stories within phase B2, a 39.83-acre segment projected for up to 484 apartments. 

The developer was prepared to submit construction plans this fall for site and infrastructure work to begin, but changes to the PUD sought by prospective buyers have delayed that start, said Paul Bouldin, senior associate with Marcus & Millichap, who is marketing the property for Mercury Advisors. 

"This is positive, because we have substantial buyers interested in moving forward and they have certain needs," Bouldin told GrowthSpotter. "The result has caused us to move a boundary line between two sections, reducing the size of our apartments pad. So we're asking for approval to go from a three-story product to a mix of three- and four-story apartments, which will be adjacent to the expressway." 

Bouldin declined to comment on which of the six parcels are now under contract, but said only the multifamily site is still being actively marketed.

D.R. Horton had approximately 50 acres under contract earlier this year for the single-family and townhome segments of Avian Pointe. But now, the homebuilder is only lined up for the 11.59-acre townhomes parcel, Bouldin said. 

The 30.5-acre single-family segment is now in flux. It is owned separately by an Apopka-based family trust, which was previously in agreement for Mercury Advisors to develop the entire 126 acres together. That agreement is now being revisited, Bouldin said. 

The 19.65 acres reserved for recreation and commercial, which may flex up to 25 acres if the multifamily pad is reduced, has been in negotiations for sale to Orange County Public Schools. An OCPS spokeswoman affirmed Wednesday its interest in the site. 

"By late Spring 2018 I'd expect we would be farther along and under contract with these properties and have horizontal site work commence, but it's a moving target," Bouldin said. 

A new access road, the Grand Avian Parkway, will be developed in phases to provide connectivity through the property from W. Orange Avenue (north) to Lust Road (south).

Mercury Advisors is prepared to front the cost to complete the road and infrastructure work for a majority of the property, Bouldin said.

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