Six months after Orlando’s City Council approved the rezoning and master plan for the $1 billion RoseArts District, Miami-based Westside Capital Group is moving the project forward by submitting more detailed development plans for the first phase, which would consist of four mixed-use apartment buildings with a total nearly 1,600 dwelling units and up to 150,000 square feet of retail space.
“We have submitted our [Specific Parcel Master Plan] consistent with the previously approved Planned Development,” spokesperson Dana Loncar said. “We look forward to completing the process with the City and delivering this exciting mixed use development, which includes much needed housing for Central Florida.”
Led by founder Jakub Hejl, Westside bought the former Lake Orlando golf course and country club in Orlando’s Rosemont neighborhood in 2019 for $1.85 million. The Phase 1 SPMP covers 38.46 of the total 128 acres in the approved Planned Development. It’s located in the northeast corner of the site, on Rosamond Drive, just west of N. Orange Blossom Trail. It includes plans and renderings for each of the four buildings, labeled A, B, C1 and C2 but doesn’t specify the order of construction.
In his introduction, Andrew McCown with Community Solutions Group wrote that the plan nearly maxes out the residential entitlements, requesting 1,594 dwelling units, of which 160 would be affordable and income-restricted. All of the affordable units would be located in Building C2 and would have full access to the building amenities and parking garage. That complies with the PD condition that 10% of all units per phase be affordable, but it could push the delivery of those units toward the end of the Phase 1 construction, based on the timing for each building.
Loncar said the development team hasn’t determined the order of construction for the apartment buildings but noted that all of the Phase 1 infrastructure, including the roads, trails, parks and stormwater ponds, would be developed at one time.
Charlan Brock Architects has led the design work in coordination with lead planner and engineer CSG. All of the buildings comprising the community’s Village Center are aligned along a central spine road, to be named RoseArts Row, which spilts into a “Y” at the northern boundary of the property. Closest to Orange Blossom Trail, Building A would be eight stories wrapping a 708-space parking garage and an interior amenity courtyard. It would have 388 apartments, a 2-story clubhouse and up to 44,571 square feet of retail space.
Building B would rise just west of Building A, across a large pond with fountains. It would be closer to existing homes in Rosemont, so the westernmost portions of the building are five stories in height then stepped up to eight stories. With 476 apartments, this would be the largest of the four buildings in Phase 1. It also has the most ground-level retail space, allocating between 58,680 and 70,898 square feet.
Buildings A and B would overlook the urban park with a boardwalk that extends into the adjacent pond. It also has an event lawn, dog park, food truck /market area, shade structures, public art and a performance pavilion, and it links to the master trail system that extends throughout the community. The plan designates just over 5 acres of upland parkland in the first phase, all of which would be privately owned but open to the public.
Building C would be constructed in two phases with a private shared amenity between the two sections. Each would be eight stories with 353 units. C1 would have between 28,580 and 34,531 square feet of retail space. All of the affordable units would be in building C2, which is the only building not designed with retail space.
The plan would be scheduled for the Municipal Planning Board’s Aug. 16 meeting, with final approval by the City Council set for September. The RoseArts District PD generated substantial neighborhood opposition, with more than 600 residents signing a petition against the project and passed City Council by a 5-2 vote.
The entire PD is split among three phases and has entitlements for nearly 6,000 dwelling units and 350,000 square feet of commercial. Westside received the city approval, following an appeal from the neighborhood, after reducing the number of residential units and agreeing to dozens of conditions, including the 10% affordable housing threshold. The city also wants the developer to implement a transit circulator within the community that would link to the nearby LYNX Rosemont Superstop on Cinderlane Parkway to reduce internal vehicle trips.
If the developer doesn’t have an agreement for the circulator within five years of the rezoning, the second and third phase of the Planned Development would expire, along with entitlements for 4,050 dwelling units and 200,000 square feet of non-residential use. If it’s not up and running within nine years, Phase 3 would expire.