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Brazilian developer pursues apt-condos plan on Lake Willis

Highlighted in blue are the roughly 9 acres under contract by Brazilian developer Davila Homes on Lake Willis, southwest of SeaWorld.
Highlighted in blue are the roughly 9 acres under contract by Brazilian developer Davila Homes on Lake Willis, southwest of SeaWorld. (Orange County Property Appraiser)

A Brazilian custom-homebuilder and South American partners have 8.88 acres under contract on Lake Willis in Orlando's tourism corridor, where they hope to build 80 high-end condominium apartments.

The property lies southwest of SeaWorld at 11302 and 11314 Westwood Blvd., a burgeoning multi-family corridor where more than 1,000 apartments are currently in various phases of pre-construction and construction, between four other projects.

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The parcels also lie within the Lake Willis Neighborhood Overlay District, but just outside an internal boundary that would have restricted development to single-family homes. Prospective developer T.J. Davila, of Davila Custom Homes, was able to confirm that fact Wednesday morning with Orange County planning staff, which may have derailed the deal otherwise.

The property has been owned by Orlando-based River Business Corp. since December 2011. Formed by Brazilians Jose and Marjacy Oliveira, they paid $903,700 for the two parcels.

Clenilson Dantas, a Brazil-born realtor now based in Orlando with Florida Connexion Properties Inc., is representing the sellers in the potential deal. The two parcels are currently listed for sale online at a combined $1.147 million.

Saint Clair Fernandes, also Brazilian and a broker associate with Florida Connexion, is representing Davila and his foreign investment partners as the prospective buyer.

Davila said due diligence for he and his investment partners should be complete by June 26. Davila and Stephen Allen of CivilCorp Engineering, Inc., confirmed with staff they'd be filing a Planned Development rezoning first, which would go through three stages of county approval before they could then file a Development Plan.

The global investment firm jumps in with a land purchase to back Georgia developer's 268-unit multi-family project.

They'll also have to hold one or more community meetings with area residents, file a new CAD (Conservation Area Determination), and reach a school impact agreement with Orange County Public Schools.

Construction height on the parcels will be limited by the Lake Willis Neighborhood Overlay District to 20 feet (one story) within 100 feet of the southern boundary of their two contiguous parcels. Two-story units could be built on a portion of the site, but not all.

Just 0.3 miles north of the subject property, Washington, D.C.-based equity firm Carlyle Group formed a joint venture last year with Flournoy Partners of Georgia to develop 268 luxury apartments, on a 12-acre undeveloped parcel fronting Interstate 4 and Westwood Boulevard.

Bainbridge Apartments should break ground in July on up to 322 multi-family units on 16.26 acres of the former Marriott Grande Pines Golf Course, with its own GC to choose subcontractors soon.

And directly east, across Westwood Boulevard, are 206.76 acres of the former Marriott Grande Pines Golf Course now being developed into three apartment communities totaling up to 782 units, and 436 single-family homes and townhouses.

County planning staff warned Davila that he may face pushback on his project from residents of the Lake Willis single-family homes.

In recent weeks, one resident filed a formal challenge in Orange County Circuit Court over County Commissioners' approval in May of a 175-unit Development Plan on the Grande Pines property (the third of three approved), dubbed Westwood Reserve at Grande Pines.

Portions of the 207-acre property would be sold to apartment or home builders in the coming months as county approval nears on plans for the land.

New Jersey-based developer Ridgewood Real Estate Partners previously named Southern Investments as the prospective buyer for that 11.92-acre portion, but president Jonathan S. Grebow declined to confirm that name on Wednesday.

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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