The developer wants to build a mix of modern townhomes and apartments at the corner of Cinderlane N. Lake Orlando parkways.
The developer wants to build a mix of modern townhomes and apartments at the corner of Cinderlane N. Lake Orlando parkways. (David P. King Jr.)

A new take on rental housing could be headed to a vacant corner lot in Orlando’s Rosemont neighborhood.

Then site at the corner of Cinderlane and N. Lake Orlando parkways is just 2.54 acres. The developer, Virtus North America LLC, has filed a Master Plan with the city to build 52 rental units on the property.

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Architect Mark Whitman said the company is the American arm of a Dubai-based real estate development firm. ADKA is the company’s in-house design and construction arm, and this will be the first of several innovative new projects in the pipeline for Orlando.

“We would like to be a niche market of finding a style that we have created and that we wanted to see," Whitman said. They will be leased, and not fee-simple ownership.

The townhouse buildings alternate building heights. The larger, 3-bedroom units have a third floor and rooftop deck, which can be seen through the open pitch roof over the second-floor balcony.
The townhouse buildings alternate building heights. The larger, 3-bedroom units have a third floor and rooftop deck, which can be seen through the open pitch roof over the second-floor balcony. (David P. King Jr.)

Urban designer Monica Pinjani Chawla is the creative force behind the project, which she designed to appeal to both millenials and families. “As a designer, I put myself in the space and think about what my needs were at different stages in my life,” she said. “When I was younger, I wanted a studio. Now that I have a family, I need more space.”

The Master Plan by Florida Engineering Group’s Greg Crawford calls for a combination of modern townhomes and a 4-story apartment building. Virtus had initially considered applying for an affordable housing density bonus, which would have allowed the company to raise the unit count to 63 units. But the company decided the site was too small to really take advantage of the higher unit count.

Plus, they wanted to keep the building heights lower along the road frontage to complement the single family homes across the street. “This is the last piece of land in the Rosemont district,” Chawla said. “The residents use it now as a dog park. We wanted to be sensitive to the neighbors and create something they would be proud of.”

This view shows the rear of the townhomes, each with a 2-car garage, and the front of the apartment building.
This view shows the rear of the townhomes, each with a 2-car garage, and the front of the apartment building. (David P. King Jr.)

That’s why all the townhomes were designed to face the street, each with a private courtyard and patio to create a transition between the public realm and private space, Chawla said. Special care will be taken to preserve many of the existing trees, she added.

The townhouse buildings will alternate between two- and three-story units, and all will be designed with a 2-car garage. The 3-story units will feature a large rooftop deck in the front – some with views of Lake Orlando.

“The top floor is flexible,” Chawla said. “It could be an entertaining space, a fourth bedroom or an office or studio.”

The apartment building will be located behind the townhomes and will utilize surface parking. This building will have a mix of studios, 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom units. The plan also carves out several on-street parallel parking spaces along N. Lake Orlando Parkway.

A pool and clubhouse occupy the corner. The 5,000-square-foot building will house the leasing office and a party room on the second floor. “It’s definitely modern,” Chawla said. The developer hopes to get through permitting this year and begin construction in early 2020 with a 12-18 month construction period.

Virtus owns several properties scattered throughout Orange County, and they hope to build small-scale infill projects on many of them. Chawla said the company will be filing plans this month for a similar townhouse development on Buck Road near the University of Central Florida.

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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