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Multi-Family Residential Developments

Dominium closes on land for side-by-side affordable housing communities near Apopka

On Oct. 31, Dominium Development paid $5.5 million for 37 acres along Plymouth Sorrento Road, near the interchange of State Road 429 and State Road 515, where it will place 492 apartment units across two separate projects along the northwestern shore of Lake Standish.

At a time of heightened demand for more affordable housing across Orange County, a Minneapolis-based developer recently closed on land just outside the Apopka city limits to build side-by-communities offering lower-rent options.

On Oct. 31, Dominium Development paid $4.7 million for 37 acres along Plymouth Sorrento Road, near the interchange of State Road 429 and State Road 515, where it will place 492 apartment units across two separate projects along the northwestern shore of Lake Standish.

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The Mira would offer 312 workforce housing units while The Waters would be an age-restricted community with 180 units.

The Mira, to the west, would offer 312 workforce housing units while The Waters, on the east side of the property, would be an age-restricted, 55+ community with 180 units.

The Orange County Commission approved the land-use change for the project in July, rezoning it from its original agricultural designation as part of a Citrus Rural District to a Planned Development with medium-density residential.

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The commission also signed off on 14 waivers at the time, including a reduction of the setback to 75 feet from single-family properties and an increase in building height to four stories for the senior living component.

“I’m really pleased with this project,” County Commissioner Christine Moore said at the July 12 meeting. “It is so needed. ...As soon as that community hears about four stories overlooking Lake Standish on a hill, it will fill up the first day they open the applications. It’s a beautiful project.”

She only wishes these communities could begin accepting tenants sooner.

Matt Hodges, the development associate with Dominium, told GrowthSpotter construction should begin by the third or fourth quarter of 2023, with an anticipated Certificate of Occupancy 23 months after construction starts. Renderings are not yet available.

“It’s still a total of two years before they’re ready for move-in,” Moore said at the meeting. “Anything we can do internally to get these processes and projects moving faster would be helpful.”

The county is in the midst of exploring policy changes aimed at expediting the county review process for multifamily projects.

Across unincorporated Orange County, 8,456 apartment units are currently under construction while another 17,914 are in the pipeline awaiting final approval.

At the meeting in July, County Mayor Jerry Demings addressed criticism from residents who feel the county approves too many residential development projects.

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“We have people who keep moving in and we have a deficit of housing, especially housing that is designated as affordable or attainable,” he said. “We have to make sure we are being responsive to the emerging housing crisis that we have.”

Orange County needs roughly 55,000 additional apartment units by 2030 to meet demand, according to the Florida Apartment Association.

In September, the commission unanimously approved an updated action plan through fiscal year 2024-25 estimated to create another 2,550 affordable housing units in metro Orlando. At that time, the average monthly rent was at $1,810, representing a 30% one-year rise.

Dominium's 331-unit Heron Ridge is an affordable housing development for seniors located off Yates Road and U.S. Highway 192 in Kissimmee. It's expected to open soon.

A report released Friday by rent.com says that statewide year-over-year rents saw a 23.2 percent rise in Florida and have stayed high despite a nationwide cooling trend. Overpriced metro area markets include Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Tampa, North Port-Bradenton, Orlando and Deltona-Daytona Beach, according to the report.

Dominion, a developer of high-quality affordable housing, is working to improve that data. The company, which currently manages 38,000 apartment homes at more than 220 properties across the U.S, is poised to deliver the Orlando market another 1,500 affordable units across four new projects.

Two age-restricted communities are under construction in Osceola County, including the 331-unit Heron Ridge, expected to open soon, and the 383-unit Osprey Park near Poinciana, expected to start greeting tenants by the summer of 2023, according to the company’s website.

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Dominium Development is currently building Osprey Park near Poinciana. It is expected to start greeting tenants by the summer of 2023, according to the company’s website.

In Orange County, the company is planning a 288-unit 62+ community called Sandpiper Glen on the south side of East Colonial Drive in Orlando, just east of State Road 417 and a short drive southwest of the University of Central Florida. That should open by the spring of 2024, according to the website.

The land deal for the Apopka project was brokered by Capstone Land Sales, which represented the sellers, Wayne and Susie Simpson.

Devon Quist, the company’s development associate, told GrowthSpotter in January that each of the units will serve tenants earning 60% or less of the area median income.

A conceptual plan by Bessolo Design Group shows that the senior-living community The Waters would have 72 one-bedroom units, 80 two-bedroom units and 28 three-bedroom. While a unit breakdown for the Mira is not included in plans, some of the 14 apartment buildings on the property, surrounding a pool and playground, would include four-bedroom units.

The Orange County Commission approved the land-use change for the Apopka project in July, rezoning it from its original agricultural designation as part of a Citrus Rural District to a Planned Development with medium-density residential.

“Dominium has a long history of developing quality affordable housing and is a perfect fit to bring their product to this location in Apopka,” Brian Hunsicker, senior advisor with Capstone, said in a statement. “With the continued need for affordable housing and incredible growth occurring in the submarket, it’s great to see this project taking shape which will serve hundreds of households for years to come.”

The project joins a multitude of others in the pipeline for the Apopka area. The city has more than 85 development projects either under construction, approved, or under review, including several in its downtown area.

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“Apopka has seen an explosion of growth over the past few years,” Hunsicker, who’s been involved in several deals in the area, added in a phone call. “And there’s seemingly no end in sight. There’s still tremendous apartment demand.”

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at (407)-800-1161 or dwyatt@GrowthSpotter.com, or tweet me at @DustinWyattGS. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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