Nearly nine months after Miami billionaire Gil Dezer filed plans to build apartments in the parking lot of the former Artegon Marketplace on International Drive, Orlando’s planning staff is recommending approval of the new master plan.
The case goes before the city’s Municipal Planning Board Tuesday morning. The firm is seeking entitlements for a 5-story, 365-unit apartment complex with structured parking.
Dezer Development earned the staff’s endorsement after several meetings and tweaks to the Specific Parcel Master Plan first filed in January. Among the changes, Dezer and planning firm VHB added an interior road network encircling the new infill portions of the 104-acre property. The new master plan also shows a potential second and third phase of the multifamily housing, as well as a new hotel and additional retail fronting on I-Drive.
The new outer ring road shows two access points that provide connectivity between Dezerland and the 77-acre parcel immediately to the south. Lennar Homes is under contract to buy that property, formerly known as AcquaSol, and is planning a resort community with a 300-room hotel and a mix of vacation homes and condos – all categorized as commercial dwelling units.
The road connections between the Dezer and Lennar projects must be constructed during the first phase of the infill redevelopment, as conditioned by the report. Dezer also must provide access for residents to the future Shingle Creek Regional Trail extension, which runs along the powerline easement separating the two projects.
The developer also must file a concurrency application with Orange County Public Schools before work could commence on any residential infill development. The revised plan also provides more outdoor amenities for the apartment complex, including a .65-acre park with a large event lawn with a activity terrace, shade pavilions, benches, decorative lighting and fencing.
The hotel pad would be located on a vacant parcel attached to the former mall, which Dezer is converting into a car museum, dealership and tourist attraction. If approved, the plan would give the developer two years to secure a permit for the 7-story hotel.