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The site plan for the Polo Glen at Lake Betty multifamily development at 2695 S. Orange Blossom Trail.
The site plan for the Polo Glen at Lake Betty multifamily development at 2695 S. Orange Blossom Trail. (Orange County Property Appraiser/GrowthSpotter)

Developer Collier Companies is looking to complete the permitting phase of its long-time planned Polo Glen at Lake Betty apartment project in northwestern Orange County after months of deliberation with global security company, Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation.

According to a Environmental Resource Program Permit application filed in St. Johns River Water Management District, Collier Co. is fine-tuning plans for its proposed 336-unit multifamily development 2695 S. Orange Blossom Trail.

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The activity signifies a milestone for a project that has a long history of being dormant.

West Palm Beach-based private equity investor Priderock Capital Partners had initially pursued developing the apartments in 2007.

The company then went as far as successfully rezoning the property and earning Development Review Committee approval in 2010, but the project never launched.

In 2018, GrowthSpotter reported Colliers Co. has partnered with Priderock on the development.

Priderock’s previous partner, the Bainbridge Companies, helped purchase the site in 2006 for $6.5 million, though it later divested from the land and project in 2009.

After scoring Colliers Co. as a partner, the team went ahead with presenting a less dense project than the 480-unit multifamily development.

Plans currently call for a gated garden-style multifamily community comprised of a mix of two- and three-story residential buildings and a clubhouse featuring a swimming pool overlooking Lake Betty.

About 28 acres of the entire 45-acre site are developable. Residents will have access to a volleyball court, playgrounds and jogging paths with exercise equipment every 500 feet.

The deal for the apartment community near Valencia College East falls in line with recent big-ticket multifamily sales near college campuses, where a number of investors are actively re-positioning multifamily and student housing complexes.

The reactivated and modified plans went before Orange County’s DRC last year in February. At the meeting, the developer was asked to work with NGSC to address certain issues raised regarding access points and easement rights to Lake Betty Boulevard.

Committee members also advised parties meet with the Florida Department of Transportation to work out the location of a new turn signal. Finally in August, the DRC approved the plans under the condition the developer continue to work with FDOT.

That same month, attorney Chris Roper of Akerman LLP filed an appeal on behalf of NGSC in an attempt to overturn DRC’s decision. The letter included issues over rights to the easement, the development’s public park use and interconnectivity of the project, among other alleged afflictions.

James Edward Cheek III with Winderweedle, Haines, Ward & Woodman represented owning entity Collier Lake Betty Apartments Owner LLC.

In response to the appeal, Cheek submitted a letter to Orange County’s planning administrator Eric Raasch, claiming NGCS points to appeal were “inaccurate and do not justify reversal of approval.”

Representatives with NGCS and Colliers Co. were not immediately available to comment.

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County documents show the appeal was withdrawn in October. Permit application for the project were submitted that month, with small modification requests filed in December and January.

Dave Schmitt Engineering is the civil engineer and Cedarwood Architectural Inc. is the architect.

The 45.75-acre development site neighbors Northrop Grumman’s roughly 150,000-square-foot facility that houses the company’s laser systems division in Apopka.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at arabines@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-5427, or tweet me at @amanda_rabines. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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