ContraVest pursues lakefront apts site from Egyptian seller along South I-Drive

Bob Moser
GrowthSpotter

Altamonte Springs-based multifamily developer ContraVest has part of a 51-acre lakefront parcel under contract along S. International Drive, with the Egyptian land owner retaining the balance for future commercial and hospitality development options.

The builder and manager of market-rate apartment communities has roughly 11.3 acres under contract for a 278-unit complex with views over Lake Bryan, and another 0.9 acres it would own and develop for an access road to I-Drive. The developer's deposit on the land has not yet gone hard. 

ContraVest filed a pre-app request with Orange County on Friday to discuss development options. Long-standing land use approvals for the property must be updated to meet current technical requirements of the county, which would be done as part of ContraVest's eventual Development Plan review process. 

The prospective layout of the ContraVest site includes three separate multi-story apartment buildings, a central clubhouse and pool amenity, a new stormwater retention pond and surface parking with a few dozen private covered garage spaces. 

The exact size of the land ContraVest would acquire must still be confirmed through boundary surveys, environmental and other land development analysis.  

The property lies just six miles south of two neighboring apartment properties ContraVest owns at the corner of Universal Boulevard and Destination Parkway, named The Courtney (355 units) and The Addison at Universal (344 units, under construction with projected Winter 2018 opening). 

The prospective land seller is Porto Orlando LLC, an investment vehicle for family owners of Egypt-based developer the Amer Group, which previously paid $12.9 million for the land in August 2015

The Amer Group is one of Egypt's leading resort developers, and had been banking this land since 2015 with their eye on an eventual resort along Lake Bryan.

"The sale to ContraVest is in response to the current strength of the multifamily market. At this point, the owner has no firm plans for the balance of the property," said Keith Ray of Heathrow-based Ray Properties, Inc., a real estate broker and owner's representative for Amer.

The owner is still reserving about one third of the 51-acre parcel for a future resort with lake and I-Drive frontage, per notes on the ContraVest concept plan. Approximately 10 to 12 acres are also being held by Amer along I-Drive, fronting the ContraVest site, and may be earmarked for future retail. 

Charlan Brock Associates has been the architect on ContraVest's conceptual designs thus far, and G L Summitt Engineering the civil engineer.

The Orlando apartment market is experiencing a dramatic shift in demand to the southern half of the metro area with the tourism corridor a focal point, Daryl Spradley, senior vice president with Charles Wayne Consulting, said here in early May

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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