Atlantic Housing preps mixed-income multifamily site SW of Orlando airport

Bob Moser
GrowthSpotter

Winter Park-based Atlantic Housing Partners has more than 14 acres under contract southwest of Orlando International Airport, with plans for a new mixed-income or market-rate apartment complex near a growing hub of airport and industrial jobs.  

The affordable housing developer filed a Development Plan on Monday with Orange County for a 252-unit apartment complex, set on 14.47 acres at the northwest corner of Airport Park Drive and E. Wetherbee Road. 

"Job growth is what is attracting us to that location," principal Scott Culp told GrowthSpotter. "Our research shows there are approximately 18,000 jobs at the airport, another 1,900 jobs at the airport Hyatt, and 1,500-odd jobs estimated at the Amazon warehouse (fulfillment center) two miles from this site." 

The property also lies roughly three miles south of Liberty Park at AIPO and other growing industrial parks west of the airport. 

Dubbed the "Wetherbee Road Apartments," plans call for three buildings of three stories with surface parking and some private garages, recreation and open space. The unit count's mix is estimated as 142 one-bedrooms, 39 two-bedrooms and 71 three-bedrooms. 

Atlantic Housing wants to dedicate a portion of those units as affordable housing, but Culp said a number of questions remain about if the county, state and Florida Housing Finance Authority will have the funding resources available over the next year to source.

The Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund was established by the state 25 years ago to allocate revenue from doc stamp taxes specifically for affordable housing development. But since 2003, state legislators have been taking money from that trust fund to shore up other areas of the budget. 

Counties get affordable housing money allocated from that fund. High fee structures at the Orange County Housing Finance Authority are another cost area Culp said must still be negotiated, as well as transportation impact fees from the county.  

"We'll proceed with our planning and permitting, and in the next nine to 12 months should identify if the resources are there to make a mixed-income community viable," he said. "If necessary, it will end up as a market-rate community." 

The land owners and prospective sellers are a quartet of private investors who have held the land since at least 1986. They own another 11.7 undeveloped acres directly north. 

Atlantic Housing's most prominent local project is a 256-unit mixed-income housing and commercial project in downtown Orlando's Creative Village. Concrete footers and foundation on that site began to be poured earlier this month, Culp said. 

Madden, Moorhead & Stokes is civil engineer on the Wetherbee project, Slocum-Platts the architect and Dix.Hite + Partners the landscape architect. 

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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