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Multi-Family Residential Developments

Aventon begins construction on next apartment community with a built-in amenity that’s become more common amid pandemic (updated)

Aventon Companies has broken ground on what would be the fourth multifamily community it’s developed in the Orlando market and filed plans for a fifth project near Disney.

And when the 308-unit Aventon Opal opens its doors on Poinciana Boulevard in 2023, it’ll come with an amenity that has become increasingly prevalent in apartment communities built after the onset of the pandemic: A cozy lounge with office space and conference rooms for tenants who work remotely.

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In addition to a mix of one, two and three-bedroom floor plans, a resort-style pool with cabanas, summer kitchen, fitness center, micro market, and pet spa, the latest project underway for the North Carolina-based company will feature a remote working lounge with five private offices, numerous booths and communal workspaces as well as a conference room “in an era of remote work” according to a news release by public relations firm Anderson Collaborative on behalf of Aventon.

Before commencing vertical work on Aventon Opal, the company secured a construction loan on May 17 totaling $27.6 million from Citizens Bank.

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An entity affiliated with Aventon closed on the 11 acres of property in May for roughly $7.4 million, according to the Orange County Property Appraiser’s office.

“With home values in Orlando continuing to skyrocket and the market becoming one of the most desirable in the country given its year-round seasonable temperatures and proximity to the nation’s entertainment capital, the need for high-quality housing is at an all-time high,” Burk Hedrick, Vice President of Development for Aventon Companies said in the news release. “We are excited to deliver another Aventon community which residents are able to proudly call home.”

On June 7, Aventon filed a Land Use Plan with Orange County for the mixed-use Village at Avalon in the Four Corners submarket just south of the Grove Resort and Water Park. Brossier assembled the land in 2020 with plans to build an apartment complex called Registry at Grass Lake, but the Winter Park firm never followed through with the rezoning needed to move forward.

Aventon is seeking approval for a Planned Development to build a 4-story, 342-unit apartment complex on 13.12 acres. The LUP also creates a 4-acre commercial parcel in the northeast corner of the property that would be entitled for up to 87,120 square feet of commercial space. Just over 5 acres would be preserved wetlands.

Home for many people today is also their office as companies continue to allow employees to work remotely several days of the week, or full-time.

A survey of more than 10,000 offices globally conducted by workforce management company, Robin, found that nearly 20% of American office workers are back one day a week, about 10% are back two days a week and 5% are back three days a week. Even fewer are back four or five days a week, and more than 50% do not use the office consistently, the New York Times reported in May.

That trend is impacting how multifamily developers design apartments.

“We are starting to include spaces for both private study and co-work space,” said Ryan von Weller, the managing director of development with Wendover Housing Partners.

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The Altamonte Springs-based company is under contract with Universal to build its 1,000-unit mixed-income housing community on land near its theme parks, next door to the Orange County Convention Center campus.

The development’s amenities include on-site tuition-free preschool and medical care, 16,000 square feet of retail space, fitness trails and a transportation hub for buses, ridesharing and employer shuttles. It will also include space for remote workers to use computers, take phone calls and meet with fellow employees.

“Typically, we have included open spaces and computer labs in our communities, but the shift to more people working from home has certainly altered our thinking on designing and building more collaborative space,” von Weller said.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic rolled in, Bainbridge Companies was already building luxury apartments with business centers and conference rooms. Bainbridge Winter Park, for example, opened in 2019 with three quiet work rooms on the ground floor next to the lobby.

“This is now an even bigger trend post pandemic as more and more companies and employers allow employees to work remotely,” Bob Thollander, the president of development for Bainbridge Companies, told GrowthSpotter.

The Wellington-based company is building another 133-unit Bainbridge-branded community on roughly 13 acres at 7575 Universal Blvd, near the site of Universal’s next theme park, Epic Universe.

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According to Bainbridge’s website, the luxury apartment community is expected to open next year. Yes, there will be built-in office space.

“In our future pipeline projects we have designed 6-8 small offices and a conference room and business center in the clubhouse,” Thollander said.

Since 2019, Aventon Companies has assembled a $1.5 billion portfolio of ground-up developments expected to bring nearly 6,000 Aventon-branded apartment homes to Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, and the Mid-Atlantic.

The developer, headquartered in Raleigh with an office in Orlando, has completed three communities in the Orlando market to date: the 247-unit Aventon Gem Lake in Winter Park; the 348-unit Aventon Isabelle in Orlando; and the 296-unit Aventon Alaira, also in Orlando.

Aventon Alaira was sold in May to a Pompano Beach-based investor for $109 million — or $396,087 per unit — after achieving stabilization just five months after it opened. It’s been renamed SUR Lake Buena Vista, with Bainbridge taking over management duties.

The company’s latest project, Aventon Opal — across the street from the Aventon Alaira site — will rise four to five stories on vacant land directly east of the Lake Buena Vista Resort Village and Spa hotel.

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The buildings comprising Aventon Opal were designed locally by Scott + Cormia Architecture & Interiors, based in Orlando, while the interiors were created by Beasley & Henley of Winter Park, Florida.

Aventon Companies tabbed PPF Real Estate, a subsidiary of PPF Group, as a co-investment partner.

This investment will be the second by PPF Real Estate in the Orlando area, having acquired the SouthPark shopping center for $315 Million in December 2021.

“PPF Real Estate is enthusiastic about the creation of a joint venture with Aventon Companies, a development firm with a strong track record of success. We look forward to replicating this partnership in other investments in the Sun Belt region,” Aaron Smith, Managing Director for PPF Real Estate, said in a news release.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been updated with new information about Aventon’s plans for 22 acres on Avalon Road.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at (407)-800-1161 or dwyatt@GrowthSpotter.com, or tweet me at @DustinWyattGS. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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