With several of its apartment projects taking shape in the Orlando area near Fashion Square mall and Lake Nona, Hollywood-based The Cornerstone Group is now looking to bring its luxury product to Seminole County.
The multifamily developer and operator submitted a preliminary application to the county with plans to build a 224-unit apartment community on 9.15 acres along the northwest intersection of Ronald Reagan Boulevard and U.S. Highway 17-92, just outside the Lake Mary city limits.
The property eyed by Cornerstone totals four parcels with three different owners — entities D&G Gallagher LLP and RugKing.com LLC control one apiece, while Thomas Mathieson holds the deed for the other two.
The plans are slated to go before the county’s development review committee on Wednesday.
“We are under contract for this property, and it’s been under a couple of months worth of evaluation,” Herring said. “We like it. It’s near Lake Mary high school, it has a Lake Mary address and it’s in Seminole County, which is usually a little more favorable for multifamily permitting. We have some good ‘go signals.’ We need more housing, but we have a ways to go to get this one going.”
The average rent rate in Seminole County is $1,714 compared to $1,937 for Orange County, according to Rentcafe.com.
“We are looking at market rate, class A apartments,” he added, though a price point has not yet been determined.
The assemblage currently holds two residential single-family homes that would be demolished to make room for the new development, according to a letter sent to the county by Kimley-Horn.
In order to build, the county would have to OK a land-use change. Currently, the parcels are zoned to allow for commercial uses and single-family homes. The application requests that the land be rezoned to a mixed development designation to allow for the construction of 30 units per acre.
A conceptual site plan by architecture firm Slocum Platts shows five four-story apartment buildings with a clubhouse, pool and retention pond on the southwestern tip of the property. The pool area will include a spa and cabanas while a fountain will adorn the pond, plans show.
The community would consist of 88 one-bedroom units, 96 two-bedroom units across two different floor plans and 40 three-bedroom units.
The developer also wants to discuss infrastructure with county staff.
“We are requesting the ability to connect the properties with a sidewalk, stormwater and utilities and place the clubhouse and pool and retention pond on the southern 1.34 Ac parcel,” the Kimley Horn letter says. “Additionally, we would also like to explore the option to merge the proposed wet detention pond serving the apartment complex and N Ronald Regan Blvd and discuss this with staff to optimize the land use in this area and further enhance the pond.”
Since 2018, the Cornerstone Group has developed more than 25,000 apartment units, predominately in South Florida, Herring said.
“We’ve been very active in South Florida, but we are growing here in Central Florida,” he added.
A lot of that growth in Orlando has been happening near Fashion Square mall. One project is complete and two others are in the pipeline.
The Cornerstone Group completed its 361-unit Urbon At Audubon Park in 2020 and then sold it off the following August to Wafra for $96.25 million.
On adjacent land to the north, at the intersection of Maguire Boulevard and McCullough Avenue, the developer is building a neighboring 340-unit apartment where a roughly 45,000-square-foot office complex once stood.
“Building is underway,” Herring said. “It’s probably about a 14-to-15-month construction schedule.”
Cornerstone also owns the sister building at 3670 Maguire Blvd., but plans have not yet been submitted for this property.
“It’s permitted for a similar project, but we will be doing that later once we get the other one finished,” Herring said.
Fashion Square is expected to be redeveloped through a partnership led by Unicorp National Developments. Developers Chuck Whittall and Daryl Carter announced plans to build a $1 billion mixed-use community with a large entertainment portion in 2019, but plans have stalled.
Cornerstone has also been active in the Lake Nona area where two projects are in some stage of development.
The 360-unit Urbon at Nona is nearing completion with roughly 70 units already leased, Herring said. That community sits on 38 acres of land on the southeast corner of Dowden Road and S.R. 417 — just outside the bounds of Tavistock Development Company’s Lake Nona master-planned community.
Cornerstone is also developing the 286-unit One Nona Plaza apartments between Narcoossee Road and Lake Whippoorwill.
Also in Orange County, Cornerstone is prepping land in Oakland for development, although this won’t be multifamily.
Herring said a Marriott Springhill Suites is set to come to the front of that property. The remainder could be set aside for an assisted living facility along a lake.
“We are still assessing that,” he added.