A year ago, Miami-based developer Pinnacle Housing Group pulled out of a deal to build a 360-unit luxury apartment complex on 39 acres near the ChampionsGate Country Club golf course.
Pinnacle vice president Timothy Wheat blamed the project’s failure on Osceola County’s dramatic increase in school impact fees to $11,362 per apartment unit. The higher fees were such a deterrent to development, Wheat said, that Pinnacle would look for buildable land in adjacent Polk County.
But on Wednesday, Pinnacle will go before Osceola’s Development Review Committee to talk about a new multifamily project on a different site but in the same general area.
The housing group is seeking approval for up to 400 units, this time on 24 acres on the north side of Sinclair Road, between North Old Lake Wilson Road to the east, and State Road 429 (Western Beltway) in the west. The site they abandoned last year was on Bella Citta Boulevard, west of Goodman Road.
“It is a little bit north of ChampionsGate, so it’s closer into downtown Orlando,” Pinnacle consultant Mike Serviansky told GrowthSpotter. “We like the site because it has very good visibility from the highway, but it’s also close to ChampionsGate.”
Wheat told GrowthSpotter on Monday the new, smaller site changed the company’s economic calculations regarding the high impact fees.
“That project we worked on (last year) was a different site with different cost parameters,” Wheat said. “I think the profile of this particular site is a little more reasonable. The impact fees are still a drag financially, but we think there is a higher probability that we might be able to make it work.”
The project is still so early in the process that it has no name and no site plan, Serviansky said, and he couldn’t provide any details on layout, design or amenities. Though the current site under consideration is 38 percent smaller than the Bella Citta Boulevard property, Pinnacle planners think it can support about the same number of apartments as in their previous plan.
“I don’t think (the size) makes it more difficult,” Serviansky said. “I know this site is a net 17 (buildable) acres and we can comfortably fit the density into what we’re envisioning.”
As in their previous proposal, Pinnacle will offer the apartments at market rental rates.
“We’re excited about the area; we think it has good fundamentals,” Serviansky said. “It’s exciting to build something that’s going to benefit the whole community. It’s an area pretty close to the city, there are a lot of jobs there, and there is still a bit of land that’s available.”
Wheat said Pinnacle has a contract to buy the Sinclair Road property from Winter Park-based Avanti Properties Group. He couldn’t reveal the price until after closing.
The parcel is part of 126 acres that Avanti bought for $8 million in May 2015. The Avanti acquisition covered all four quadrants of the Sinclair Road-S.R. 429 interchange.
Just last month, Avanti sold land in the southeast quadrant to an affiliate of Encore Capital Management of Boca Raton for $3.2 million. Encore plans to build a 288-unit apartment complex on the south side of Sinclair Road, across from Pinnacle’s planned development. Like the Pinnacle development, Encore’s apartments will be market rate.
Avanti also sold a 19-acre parcel in the northeast quadrant in 2018 to Celebration-based illuminate church for $3.2 million