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.
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.
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.
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.