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D.R. Horton signs on to take over 100-plus acre mixed-use project near OIA

Highlighted in yellow are the 114 acres being considered for mixed-use development.
Highlighted in yellow are the 114 acres being considered for mixed-use development. (Orange County Planning Division)

D.R. Horton wants to continue developing large mixed-use projects south of the Orlando International Airport.

In addition to its roughly 100-acre Wetherbee Acres project, currently being planned at 4402 E. Wetherbee Rd., the developer is seeking to tack on another 100-plus acre mixed-use development just four miles south of the property at 14314 Boggy Creek Road.

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A recently submitted development application in Orange County shows DHI Communities, a wholly-owned subsidiary of D.R. Horton, wants to amend the current land use plan for the Ward Property PD to allow for 660 multi-family units, 166 townhomes, 160 senior housing units, 150,000 square feet of retail use and 150,000 square feet of office uses.

D.R. Horton is under contract to buy the land. Its current owner sought entitlements for up to 950 multifamily units, but recently submitted construction plans show a different plan.

Erika Hughes with VHB is the civil engineer.

The property is currently owned by AdventHealth, which paid Maitland-based developer Ralph Singleton $33.2 million for the land in 2008 with the intention to build a hospital on the site, but plans fell through.

Over the years, instead of being developed, the land has operated as a pasture.

Prior to selling it to AdventHealth, Singleton intended to prep the roughly 115-acre property for mixed-use development. In 2007, Orange County commissioners approved his proposed land use plan to build 184 townhomes, 865 multi-family units and 36,000 square feet of commercial uses on the property.

As first reported by GrowthSpotter, AdventHealth had began trying to amend the adopted future land use designation earlier this year with the intention to sell the land to a developer. The proposed project was one of 18 developments on hold due to a state and county charter conflict, relating to school crowding.

Representatives at D.R. Horton did not respond to request for comment.

The proposed mixed-use project follows a widespread drive to bring more suburban and urban living projects around the outskirts of Orlando’s affluent Lake Nona community.

Plans call for 320, two-story townhomes on about 36 acres of land near the Orange/Osceola County line.

Just south of the Ward PD M/I Homes is planning to build 320, two-story townhomes on about 36 acres of land at 14700 Boggy Creek Road. And luxury multifamily real estate firm Bainbridge Companies is planning a 324-unit apartment complex on a neighboring 14 acres, as part of the Tyson Ranch PD.

Other developments following suit include a 32.5-acre mixed-use development between Narcoossee Road and Lake Whippoorwill with more than 350 apartments, also being developed by Bainbridge.

Just north of that site, North Carolina-based Crescent Communities is seeking to develop roughly 17 acres for residential or live-work units on Narcoossee Road and a separate 260-unit apartment community called NOVEL Nona.

South Florida-based Futura Development Company is developing a mixed-use project at 14806 Narcoossee Rd. that will feature more than 250 luxury apartments, a 122,000-square-foot self-storage facility and about 32,000 square feet of commercial and retail space.

D.R. Horton’s DHI Communities is behind several mixed-use projects throughout Central Florida.

The commercial plaza is one of three new projects planned at the village center for Horizon West Village H.

In Horizon West, the developer is building out its master-planned Waterleigh community, which will feature thousands of homes as well as office and retail space, once complete.

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Earlier this year, GrowthSpotter reported the homebuilder signed on Publix as an anchor grocer to the retail portion of the community, located on the southwest corner of Avalon Road and Flamingo Crossings Boulevard.

D.R. Horton also recently completed construction on a 354-unit apartment complex in the community, called Ascend Waterleigh.

According to a third quarter earnings report, DHI Communities had four projects under active construction and one project that was substantially complete as of July. The company sold two multifamily rental properties during this current fiscal year for $128.5 million and recorded gains on sale of $59.4 million.

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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