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Mosaic files long-awaited plans for downtown Kissimmee apartments

The redesigned Lake Toho Apartments are in the heart of downtown Kissimmee, overlooking Lake Tohopekeliga and Lakefront Park.
The redesigned Lake Toho Apartments are in the heart of downtown Kissimmee, overlooking Lake Tohopekeliga and Lakefront Park. (Baker Barrios)

Mosaic Development and its design team are set to meet with Kissimmee's Development Review Committee on Tuesday for the long-anticipated Lake Toho Apartments project.

The St. Petersburg developer, along with its joint venture partner Altis Cardinal, submitted a Site Specific Redevelopment Plan in April for the $50 million apartment complex that's a key element in the city's downtown redevelopment strategy.

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City Commissioners approved a five-year contract in late 2015 with Mosaic to bring market rate housing, retail uses and a boutique hotel on two city blocks. Kissimmee completed its 400-space Toho Square parking garage in 2017, but Mosaic has yet to break ground on any of its buildings.

The original 2015 concept called for ground-floor retail uses mixed-in with the apartments. The "Florida Vernacular" architecture, with its red-tiled roof and traditional color scheme, provided continuity with the proposed hotel.
The original 2015 concept called for ground-floor retail uses mixed-in with the apartments. The "Florida Vernacular" architecture, with its red-tiled roof and traditional color scheme, provided continuity with the proposed hotel. (Baker Barrios)

The 11-acre project has gone through several redesigns since Mosaic and architect Baker Barrios unveiled the initial concept. The latest plan calls for 304 market-rate units directly across from the city's Lakefront Park, plus a stand-alone 10,000-square-foot retail building. Cardno is the civil engineer, and Weiland is the general contractor.

The look of the complex is more urban contemporary than the "Florida Vernacular" style in the first concept. Gone are the red tile roof, wood-framed balcony railings and traditional color scheme that was meant to complement the historic downtown architecture.

Kissimmee Development Services Director Craig Holland told GrowthSpotter said Mosaic is known for providing outstanding interior finishes and resident amenities.

"The pool will be really nice, and it's going to have an outdoor kitchen," he said. "They put in a really big fitness center with a lot of equipment, and they have dog parks and dog wash stations. You have to do all of that today to keep up with the competition."

The commercial building, situated between the two 4-story residential buildings, will be restricted to "park-friendly" retail uses, Holland said. It's designed to support the residents and thousands of visitors who frequent the city park every day.

"I would be tickled if we could get a couple of restaurants in there and call it a day," he said.

Originally the hotel was slated for the Lakeview Drive site, but Mosaic shifted it east to Toho Square, where it would connect to the parking garage and face Ruby Avenue. Holland said the developer still has two years left on its contract to perform on the hotel deal, but market studies haven't supported demand for the business-quality hotel city officials want in their Central Business District.

The good news is the opening of SunRail's Kissimmee service last July has renewed developer interest for downtown apartments. Alamonte Springs-based Wendover Housing Partners has filed plans with the city for a $38 million transit-friendly apartment complex less than a block from the SunRail station.

"It's 500 units total, so it's really nice to have that kind of residential mass coming in," Holland said. "This will help us attract a wider range of businesses, and hopefully that elusive grocery store."

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-6261, or tweet me at @LKinslerOGrowth. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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