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Miami developer eyes former Parliament site for new apartments

The conceptual site plan calls for a 312-unit apartment complex with three 4-story buildings and surface parking.
The conceptual site plan calls for a 312-unit apartment complex with three 4-story buildings and surface parking. (Fugleberg Koch)

A Miami Gardens developer that specializes in building and operating apartment communities has had preliminary discussions with Orlando city staff regarding the former Parliament House site near Camping World Stadium.

Joseph Lehman, owner and CEO of Lehman Property & Development, had a pre-application meeting in late March where he shared a conceptual site plan for the project tentatively called Lions Garden Apartments. The name reflects the current owner of the property, Lion Financial LLC, which acquired the largest piece of the 20-acre site last year through foreclosure for $300,100. The Miami-based lender had previously purchased two other parcels in the assemblage in a 2018 bankruptcy sale. Those included The Gardens, an 18-unit timeshare property.

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Located on Orange Blossom Trail, just south of Colonial Drive, the gay-friendly resort featured a 125-room motel, restaurant, theater, shops, dance club, pool and multiple bars. Lion Financial demolished the buildings and cleared the site earlier this year, allowing the city to relocate the iconic neon sign and store it for safekeeping.

Demolition of the former Parliament House resort is complete and the site is ready for redevelopment.
Demolition of the former Parliament House resort is complete and the site is ready for redevelopment. (Orange County Property Appraiser)

Lehman Development specializes in building attainable rental housing that can help revitalize “decaying, urban neighborhoods and offer our residents a brighter, more promising future, all at prices our residents can afford.” The Lions Garden site lies within Orlando’s West Colonial Opportunity Zone. It’s a half-mile west of Creative Village and about two-thirds of a mile north of Camping World Stadium.

Lehman has enlisted Gary Badge with Fugleberg Koch to design the 4-story apartment buildings and amenities, which include a pool and clubhouse. Jason Bullard, principal at Exo Limited, joined them for the pre-application meeting.

The conceptual site plan calls for three residential buildings: two fronting on Orange Blossom Trail and a third overlooking Rock Lake. They would need a major amendment to the existing Planned Development zoning to remove the Parliament House hospitality use and replace it with 312 multifamily units.

So far Creative Village has been the main driver for new multifamily construction west of Interstate 4 with the completion of mixed-use residential projects Amelia Court, UnionWest student housing and The Julian. Mill Creek Residential is currently building Modera at Creative Village, a 292-unit market-rate multifamily building on the campus. Construction is also underway at the new EA Sports offices on Amelia Street and the Central Park in Creative Village.

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 FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

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