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Multi-Family Residential Developments

Embrey Partners expands development scope beyond Packing District

After returning to the Orlando market in 2018 with two new developments in The Packing District, Embrey Partners is expanding its reach to one of Orlando’s hottest apartment submarkets near the new Universal Epic Universe theme park.

Embrey completed The Cannery, the first residential project in The Packing District, in 2020 and has begun construction on a second phase at the corner of Orange Blossom Trail and Princeton Street. Now The Texas-based developer filed a master plan recently with the City of Orlando for a third apartment complex in the I-Drive tourism corridor at 5800 Lakehurst Dr., near Universal’s new Epic Universe theme park.

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The 4-story, 358-unit building would rise on 7.37 acres stretching from Lakehurst Drive to Kirkman Road, with a parking garage, an interior courtyard for the pool area, and several smaller courtyards, including one with a dog park.

Embrey is working with Dallas-based HEDK, the same architecture firm that designed its second Packing District community.

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Atwell is the civil engineer, and LandDesign is the landscape architect.

The development plan calls for 214 one-bedroom units, 136 two-bedroom units and eight three-bedroom units.

The property is owned by New Jersey-based International Development Group and is mostly vacant, except for a lowrise office building that was built in 1983. Jerry Lewless with Intrasouth Real Estate said he and broker-associate Ed O’Donnell listed the property on behalf of the owners in December and had it under contract by March. The property has AC3 zoning, which allows for up to 200 units per acre.

“There was a lot of response right away,” Lewless said. “We had as many inquiries for self-storage as we did for multifamily.”

He said all of the new apartments underway in the North I-Drive Special District makes it an attractive location for self-storage, but they opted to go with a multifamily developer. “We were reluctant to go with any type of light industrial or flex space because it has such high visibility on Kirkman.”

“The key to that market is that it’s the highest allowable mixed-use density in the City of Orlando and in the North I-Drive Special District, and there aren’t a lot of sites there large enough to accommodate multifamily or mixed-use residential. There’s new product all around this site, but all those developers seem to be hitting their lease-up targets.”

Construction of Universal’s new Epic Universe theme park and expansion of the Orange County Convention Center have drawn a slew of new luxury residential projects to the I-Drive tourism corridor, including Triton Cay Orlando, a 580-unit complex on Lakehurst Drive that was co-developed by Edwards Communities and Silver Hills Development. The former Republic Square shopping center on Universal Boulevard was demolished to make way for 350 apartments by Legacy Partners Residential.

Camden recently filed plans for a new 325-unit apartment community called Camden Universal on part of the former I-Drive Grande Resort on Kirkman Road.

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Atlanta-based Del American Real Estate Group submitted a plan for 329 units as part of luxury, mixed-use tower called SLX Orlando on the site of the former M Hotel just north of Carrier Drive.

And Bainbridge Companies, a South Florida-based luxury multifamily developer has approved plans to build a 397-unit community on the site of the former Mystery Fun House at 5767 Major Blvd., between S. Kirkman Road and Interstate 4. The same developer recently submitted an updated master plan for Bainbridge Universal, a 5-story apartment community at 7575 Universal Blvd. with 367 units. The project was previously approved for 330 units.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-6261, or tweet me at @byLauraKinsler. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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