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Bainbridge takes over Wetherbee Road apartment project near Lake Nona

An aerial view of the property and site plan for Bainbridge's proposed Nona North project.
An aerial view of the property and site plan for Bainbridge's proposed Nona North project. (Orange County Property Appraiser/GrowthSpotter)

Wellington, Florida-based luxury apartment developer Bainbridge Companies is looking to grow its portfolio in the Lake Nona area.

The company is under contract to purchase more than 14 acres southwest of Orlando International Airport, with plans for a new market-rate apartment complex on the northwest corner of Airport Park Drive and E. Wetherbee Road.

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Plans call for a 252-unit apartment complex, with 138 one-bedroom apartments, 90 two-bedroom apartments and 24 three-bedroom apartments.

Learn what factors this Winter Park-based developer will measure in the coming months as it decides whether to pursue market-rate or affordable housing.

As previously reported by GrowthSpotter, affordable housing developer Atlantic Housing Partners was looking to develop a mixed-income multifamily project on the site.

Records show Atlantic Housing paid $2.2 million to acquire the property in 2018. The company went as far as getting a full Development Plan approved by Orange County’s Development Review Committee last year.

Scott Culp, a principal at Atlantic Housing Partners, told GrowthSpotter Atlantic Housing purchased the property intending to develop affordable housing to address a portion of what he called “pent up demand” for workforce housing near a growing hub of airport, industrial ad medical jobs.

“Unfortunately, after several unsuccessful attempts to gain support from the Orange County Housing Finance Authority (OCHFA) for modest fee reductions in support of affordable housing in this location, we chose to sell the property and invest the proceeds in new development of affordable housing in cooperation with the Housing Finance Authority of Volusia County,” Culp said.

The developer is in the midst of completing the first phase of a multi-phase project that includes an affordable senior living development.

In September, Atlantic Housing plans to open a new 88-unit affordable senior-living development for residents 55 or older in Orange City, Volusia County.

The opening comes on the heels of opening its 158-unit Parc Hill apartment community next door, which serves households making between 40 percent to 80 percent of the area median income.

The 158-unit Parc Hill project was financed in part by $13.7 million in tax-exempt bonds from the Housing Finance Authority of Volusia County, and $10.5 million in equity from the sale of federal housing tax credits allocated through Florida Housing Finance Corporation.

“It is unfortunate that [Atlantic Housing Partners], based in Orange County, is given more welcoming consideration and support in other surrounding Central Florida counties than in their home county,” Culp said.

Bainbridge is now seeking to modify the approved DP in order to add a security gate and detached garages. The project, called Bainbridge Nona North will feature three, three-story multifamily buildings.

Madden, Moorhead & Stokes is civil engineer. Slocum-Platts is the architect and Foster Conant & Associates is the landscape architect and planner.

Bainbridge is behind several luxury apartment communities in and around the Lake Nona area.

The developer built the 288-unit Bainbridge at Nona Place in 2018 as part of a joint venture with CNL Financial Group and sold it last year for $73.8 million.

Bainbridge is also the multifamily developer at Tyson Ranch, where the company is planning a 324-unit apartment complex, and in the mixed-use Narcoossee Cove development on Lake Whippoorwill.

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Just south of the Wetherbee Road apartment project, homebuilder D.R. Horton is prepping an 18-acre townhouse tract and a 25-acre apartment tract as part of the Wetherbee Acres development.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at arabines@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-5427, or tweet me at @amanda_rabines. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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