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Redevelopment of Jai-Alai site on track for late summer groundbreaking

The first 246 residential units in Oxford Place will be built on the former site of the Orlando Jai-Alai fronton. The building will have two courtyards to maximize the outdoor views while maintaining privacy.
The first 246 residential units in Oxford Place will be built on the former site of the Orlando Jai-Alai fronton. The building will have two courtyards to maximize the outdoor views while maintaining privacy.(Verlander Landscape Architecture)

The New York developer that has been working with Seminole County to redevelop the former Orlando Jai-Alai fronton property has filed construction plans for three apartment communities totaling 770 residential units as part of a new mixed-use district called Oxford Place.

The multifamily communities will be built in phases, beginning in late summer or early fall with the 26-acre Jai-Alai fronton on U.S. 17-92 just south of Semoran Boulevard in Fern Park. RD Management is also committed to building 55,000 square feet of retail at U.S. 17-92 and Fernwood Boulevard, which will be rebuilt as a divided roadway with a roundabout at the entrance to the first apartment complex.

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Eric Moran, executive vice president of residential development for RD Management, told GrowthSpotter the firm has a development agreement in place with Seminole County and will be filing a demolition permit for the fronton soon. The estimated budget for Phase 1 is over $50 million because of the amount of site work that must be completed prior to vertical construction. Moran said construction would likely take up to two years.

This site plan shows the phasing for Oxford Place. The Phase 1 apartments (yellow) will have 246 units. Phase 2 (blue) will have 334 units, and Phase 3 (green) will have 200 units. The retail (purple) will be built sometime after the Phase 1 residential.
This site plan shows the phasing for Oxford Place. The Phase 1 apartments (yellow) will have 246 units. Phase 2 (blue) will have 334 units, and Phase 3 (green) will have 200 units. The retail (purple) will be built sometime after the Phase 1 residential.(Madden Moorhead & Stokes/color added)

“Obviously, under the current environment, we anticipate approval to be somewhat delayed from the county, but we’re working with them,” Moran said. “They have all the documentation for review currently.”

Moran said Phase 1 of the Oxford Place apartments would consist of a single 4-story, interior corridor building with elevator service and surface parking. It is designed with 246 apartments ranging in size from 700 square feet for the one-bedroom units to 1,289 square feet for the three-bedroom units.

The apartments themselves will have luxury vinyl flooring and stone counters, and each apartment has either a balcony or private patio. The complex will have an expansive mailroom with a package delivery locker system, electric vehicle charging stations and a designated drop-off area just off the lobby for ridesharing.

The building has two outdoor amenity spaces, including an interior courtyard and a pool with a 20,000-square-foot deck that includes grilling stations, a dog park and washing station. The community also features 9,000 square feet of indoor amenity space, with a club room, game room, business center and fitness center with on-demand yoga and spin classes.

Forum Architecture & Interior Design led the design for the all phases, working together with Madden, Moorhead & Stokes civil engineers.

“We’ve come up with something totally unique,” Moran said. “We will be using more brick than you see in the submarket. We’re looking to create a more urban-type project and to play off the streetscape along Fernwood to create a sense of neighborhood.”

The Fernwood Boulevard improvements will also be completed in Phase 1 and will complement the improvements along Oxford Road. Plans call for narrowing Fernwood Boulevard — between Oxford and U.S. 17-92 — from four lanes to two lanes, adding on-street angled parking, building new sidewalks and installing a roundabout. The whole idea is to transform a blighted grayfield into a compact, walkable neighborhood.

Learn how a road project in Casselberry could be the catalyst for a new mixed-use redevelopment of Seminole's Jai Alia site.

“We’re really excited about it,” Moran said. “The revitalization includes paving and landscaping, the diagonal parking, as well as different elements of stone on the roadway itself and planting the median. There will also be pocket parks along that area."

Verlander Landscape Architecture was tasked with developing a cohesive plan that ties all three phases together. “They weren’t isolating one specific phase, but looking at how they all play in conjunction with one another,” Moran said. “There will be consistencies in the landscape. We pay very close attention to that.”

Phase 2 will have 334 units, while Phase 3 will have 200 units. Both will utilize structured parking, Moran said. Phase 2 also features a public park with a pond and trails, behind the existing Lowe’s store, that would be accessed from the new Fern Park Boulevard Extension that will be built between the two multifamily communities.

“We’ve obviously spent years working on this in conjunction with the county,” Moran said. He expects the project will be able to make it through permitting without coronavirus-related delays and begin sitework by late summer or early fall.

“We’re equipped to execute the project financially, and we’re confident we’ll be able to secure construction loan by summer 2020,” he added.

The Oxford Place redevelopment grew out of the U.S. 17-92 Corridor Community Redevelopment Area, a multi-jurisdictional plan that included the county and the cities of Casselberry, Winter Springs, Lake Mary and Sanford. The plan identified the U.S. 17-92 intersection as a "catalyst site" for economic development.

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In May 2014, the Urban Land Institute released a study that looked at the future of the area around the U.S. 17-92 – S.R. 436 (Semoran) intersection, especially in light of the planned construction of a “flyover” that would allow U.S. 17-92 traffic to travel over the intersection without stopping.

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

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