Atlanta-based Cortland plans on making a big splash in its first new-build luxury apartment community, which started construction this week.
Cortland paid $5.35 million for the 17-acre tract within the ChampionsGate resort area. Citizens Bank provided $54.3 million in construction financing for the apartments that aim to set a new standard for rental accommodations in the highly competitive Four Corners submarket.
Director of Development Chris Fletcher said the design team from Charlan Brock Architects took every opportunity to capitalize on the natural environment surrounding the site by emphasizing views of the expansive wetlands near the property and by incorporating two sky lounges in the complex.
“There’s actually a bald eagle just off our site in those wetlands, and it’s a really active nest. We’ve seen the eagles out there a number of times, and so you’ll have really nice views of that eagle nest and just the proper wetlands from there,” Fletcher said.
The Cortland ChampionsGate community will blend two-, three- and four-story buildings featuring white stucco exteriors, bronze windows, red barrel tile roofs and lots of arches. The style is an homage to the work of legendary Palm Beach architect Addison Mizner. The tallest building includes a two-story sky lounge overlooking the pool courtyard.
“I know the word ‘resort-style pool’ has gotten so overused, so I’m loathed to repeat that phrase,” Fletcher said. “But this is one where it really is almost over the top.”
Cortland worked with landscape architect David Stith to incorporate planters filled with palms and other tropical plants within the pool so they create private nooks and shade. The saltwater pool will have multiple tanning shelves, bench seating and a swim-up bar, and ground-floor units facing the courtyard will have double-depth patios.
Fletcher said the apartment interiors were designed with finishes that will stand out in the market. Flooring will be vinyl plank throughout. Showers will have glass doors. The kitchens will have two-toned cabinets, granite counters and stainless steel, side-by-side refrigerators with water and ice dispensers in the door.
“And we’re debuting a concept that we’re really excited about — kind of a new valet trash concept,” he said.
The apartments have been designed with kitchen cabinets along the interior corridor and a switch to indicate when the trash needs to be collected. The valet will be able to access the trash bin from a separate door in the hallway corridor any day of the week.
“And so the residents will never have to take their trash out again,” Fletcher said. “It’s going to be really, really successful.”
The developer plans to hold back one or two fully-furnished units that can be reserved by residents for visiting guests.
“That’s something we’ve started to roll out in quite a few of our properties right now, and it’s been tremendously popular,” he said. “If you’re a resident and you’re focused on knowing that you have family coming all the time, and so maybe you want to get a two-bedroom instead of one-bedroom. Well if you know you have this on-site offering, then maybe that gets you comfortable going with a one-bedroom, and now this apartment community is more affordable.”
The 355-unit Cortland ChampionsGate project is located on Goodman Road at Masters Boulevard, adjacent to the Bella Trae condominium community. VCC is the general contractor for the project, which is expected to deliver its first units within 13 months.
The Land Advisors Organization’s Orlando team of Mike Ripley and Steve Flanagan, acting as a transaction broker on the sale to Cortland. The seller was represented by Mary Frances West and Jon Walls from NAI Realvest.