Orlando’s Municipal Planning Board approved plans for up to 871 more apartments across from the recently completed Addison Gateway community in the Orlando Gateway Center north of the airport and tabled plans for what would be the first apartment community in Storey Park.
Winter Park-based Epoch Residential plans to build 324 apartments in the Lennar master-planned community on the half-moon-shaped parcel on Biography Way south of Dowden Road. The 13.7-acre site is designated as a neighborhood activity center in the Storey Park Planned Development, but the city received over a hundred letters of opposition from Storey Park residents, prompting the developer to ask for a deferral on the case.
The conceptual site plan from Charlan Brock Architects calls for a mix of carriage units and 4-story and 5-story buildings, with the tallest buildings on a parking podium and in the center of the community forming a U-shaped courtyard for the community pool. The clubhouse would be incorporated into that central building. City staff suggested the developer incorporate some non-residential uses, such as ground-floor office or retail, to comply with the Neighborhood Activity Center land use but noted that the zoning does allow for a single use. The staff had recommended conditional approval.
Epoch had planned to start construction in December and deliver the first units in 2023, but the case was tabled until the November MPB meeting.
The letters of opposition contain common complaints — noise, traffic and school crowding — regarding multifamily development.
“The size of the planned development will increase traffic congestion to unimaginable levels,” homeowner Shawn Hooper wrote. “The schools are already crowded and there’s isn’t infrastructure to support those numbers of people. We’re maxed out on the roads to a point where you can’t even back out of your own driveway without sitting and waiting for numerous cars to go by.”
Epoch President Justin Sand told GrowthSpotter the development team would schedule a community meeting to address concerns from the neighborhood. He said some marketing material from Lennar had previously identified the site as a future town center, but Lennar doesn’t own the property the PD permits multifamily uses on that parcel.
“There’s a brand new Publix shopping center within walking distance, so we feel like we’ll complement each other,” Sand said.
The rezoning and master plan approval for Orlando Gateway apartments went more smoothly. Master developer JBL Asset Management has been working toward this approval since 2018 when it first partnered with ContraVest to co-develop the 323-unit Addison Gateway at 7200 N. Frontage Rd. That project began leasing earlier this year.
Initially, JBL sought approvals for 700 units but increased the unit count to 871, reflecting a density to 43 units per acre.
The project is split into two phases, with 422 units in Phase 1 and 449 units in Phase 2, each with over 700 parking spaces. Phase 1 comprises the two northern buildings and the central amenity center, which will serve the entire development. It has a pool and a 25,000-square-foot clubhouse with a fitness center, outdoor dining, outdoor games and a dog park. The two southern buildings are in Phase 2.
The overall development matrix call for a mix of about 22% studio units, about 33% one-bedroom units, 44% two-bedroom units and just a handful of three-bedroom units. JBL has not selected a development partner, but ContraVest President Steven Ogier said he’d be happy to team up again.
“We’d love to be a part of the development,” he said.
The 20-acre parcel is immediately south of Airport Lakes Park, which has sports fields, hiking trails and a fishing dock. The Gateway Center is also drawing new hotel development from Tampa-based McKibbon Hospitality, which is building the 6-story, 156-key Hyatt House and has filed plans for a 5-story, 155-key AC Hotel.
The Planning Board also approved a second phase of multifamily housing in the Torrey Preserve master-planned community, located on Narcoossee Road just north of State Road 528.
Winter Park-based P.A.C. Land Development built the 284-unit Mallory Square apartment community, which represented the first vertical construction in the 536-acre district. A new development team is on board for Phase 2, which is slated to rise on a 15-acre lot across from Mallory Square. DRMP is the civil engineer. The buildings are designed by Scott + Cormia and include a total of 280 units. The plan calls for five garden apartment buildings with 264 units, plus 16 townhomes. There’s also a separate clubhouse and pool amenity, as well as four detached garage buildings.
The townhomes are a mix of 2- and 3-story buildings with just two units per building. Each unit has two bedrooms and at least a 2-car garage. The 3-story units have garage parking for a third vehicle.