Developer refines mixed-use tower plan in Downtown Orlando to favor pedestrian

Illinois-based multifamily developer Banner Real Estate Group has further updated its conceptual site plan for a 13-story mixed-use building a block north of Lake Eola to favor the pedestrian experience, in anticipation of a Municipal Planning Board hearing for multiple requests next month.  

An initial filing in mid-April set the stage for Banner's desired entry to the Central Florida market, with a proposed six-parcel assemblage totaling about 1.77 acres at 108 E. Livingston St.

The assemblage lies on the southeast corner with N. Rosalind Avenue, including a vacant lot and five parcels directly east, which Banner has under contract from multiple owners. 

Between them runs an offshoot of N. Rosalind Avenue, from E. Livingston to Ridgewood streets, totaling about 0.385 acres that the applicant is asking the city to abandon.

"This is the design we've always wanted to do, but were just led to believe at the first pass that this design may have been cost prohibitive," Director of Development Tom Suminski told GrowthSpotter on Thursday.

"But when we got numbers back from a few GCs we learned our original design was a bit more than expected, and this design a bit less. It also takes full advantage of the site in a way we weren't doing before." 

Banner's renderings and conceptual site plan have evolved continuously since then, as it has consulted with city planners and neighborhood stakeholders on the density and building layout. 

It should have an Appearance Review Board hearing later this month. An MPB hearing has been delayed from June and July agendas to now on Sept. 19, where the developer is requesting approval for a partial street abandonment, rezoning of the six parcels, and amendment to the Growth Management Plan's Future Land Use Map.

The initial concept plan filed in April proposed a triangle-shaped building of 11 to 13 stories with 320 or 325 units, an interior courtyard, 4,500 square feet of ground-floor flex space, and a five- or six-level parking garage.

The latest update to that concept plan has closed the courtyard area, shifting open space to the building's western frontage on Rosalind Avenue in the form of a landscaped plaza and focal entry point to the building's retail space and apartments. 

The update proposes 389 units, solidifies the height at 13 stories, and notes 14,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, a small dog run, five-story parking garage, covered bicycle storage, and amenity center and swimming pool deck on the seventh floor. 

"This new design takes advantage of the high visibility on Rosalind, and we'll do some nice things there in the plaza on Rosalind," Suminski said. "It also opens the building's pool deck to have a view of Lake Eola, and we've maximized the number of units now with Lake Eola views."  

Banner envisions the plaza entry point on Rosalind to benefit from increased foot traffic toward Lake Eola in the future, as Creative Village is populated and more office and multifamily development occurs north of the property.

Banner has yet to select a general contractor firm for the project, or a commercial brokerage firm to pre-lease the retail space, Suminski said. 

Banner is asking the city to rezone the six parcels to PD to allow development of the mixed-use project.

The garage would face single-story buildings on the eastern side of the property and would not exceed a 75-foot height currently permitted within Office Medium Future Land Use. 

The height of the development would then be stepped upward to the west, so the tallest portion would be along N. Rosalind Avenue. 

Banner is also requesting a density bonus from the city to increase the allowable units per acre from 200 to 400. The increase would foster urban housing opportunities for people working downtown, its Kimley-Horn engineer has written previously.

The requests for street abandonment, rezoning and FLUM change should go before the City Council in mid-October. A formal Master Plan could be submitted shortly after in the fall, with construction documents targeted for early 2018 and a early Second Quarter 2018 groundbreaking, Suminski said. 

Kimley-Horn is civil engineer on the project and Baker Barrios is the 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.

Copyright © 2018, GrowthSpotter
78°