Multifamily developer targets Darden Corp. land for new apts on John Young Pkwy

Bob Moser
GrowthSpotter

National multifamily developer Wood Partners has Darden Corporation property under contract directly south of the company's headquarters on John Young Parkway, and is pursuing a Land Use Plan amendment to allow apartments on site. 

"Darden has a sale agreement in place" for part of its property to a multifamily developer, spokesman Rich Jeffers told GrowthSpotter on Friday. He declined to name the buyer due to a non-disclosure agreement.

While Wood Partners wasn't listed on a pre-app meeting request filed Friday with Orange County, its direct affiliate paid the application fee. Officials with the developer did not respond to requests for comment. 

Located along the western side of John Young Parkway, south of Taft Vineland Road and north of Central Florida Parkway, the potential development could cover the bulk of Tract 2B (14.2 acres) and an estimated half (4.68 acres) of Tract 3B. 

The property is neighbored to the west by a Courtyard by Marriott hotel, to the north by Darden's 45.85-acre corporate campus and the site of IAAPA's planned headquarters, and to the south by the Ritz Carlton & JW Marriott Grande Lakes Resort.

Wood Partners' civil engineer KCG will ask county staff about options to convert commercial entitlements from one area of the LUP to allow up to 547 apartments on the two tracts in question. The project carries a placeholder name of "Darden Lake Apartments."

If pursued, the plans would require a LUP amendment specifically for Tract 3B, to convert its permitted uses from Hotel/Commercial/Office to Hotel/Multifamily, and tract 2B to convert Commercial square footage to Multifamily units.

The deal would be Wood's second new apartment project in that immediate area of John Young and Central Florida parkways in the past two years.

The developer broke ground last May on the 314-unit Alta Grande apartments, set off the northeast corner of the two parkways' intersection. Leasing is estimated by the company to start this spring. 

Wood's Bryan Borland, director for North Florida, said here in August 2016 the company was drawn to the site's proximity to job drivers in the tourism corridor, one of the region's largest suburban office markets along John Young Parkway, Orlando's only Fortune 500 company headquarters in Darden, and the market's largest luxury hotel complex in Grande Lakes Resort. 

Charlan Brock & Associates served as architect on Wood's Alta Grande project, and the company's own Wood Florida Builders is serving as general contractor. 

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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