Orlando developer and engineer Kal Hussein is teaming up with Park Square Homes' Suresh Gupta for a pair of projects next to Valencia College campuses in Orange and Osceola counties.
Hussein's KRDK Investments, LLC has a purchase contract for 17.3 acres on Kissimmee's E192/Vine Street corridor, just steps from Valencia College's growing Kissimmee campus.
He told GrowthSpotter the duo are planning to build a 280-unit apartment complex with 20,000 square feet of commercial uses along the E192 frontage.
Hussein is calling the project OxBow Crossings, named for OxBow Creek, which winds through the site. It's one of four new apartment communities in various stages of permitting surrounding Osceola County's NeoCity research park and Osceola Heritage Park.
"The location is irresistible," Hussein said on Friday. "Across the street, you've got a big development coming that's going to create a lot of jobs. Other developers were tempted to do this, but they got scared away because of the wetlands."
Hussein has engaged Winter Park-based ACI Architecture to design the apartment complex. The buildings must be a least four stories, according to the Vine Street design standards.
He's also working with AVCON and Austin Environmental Consultants for the zoning and permitting issues. "It's a very challenging job," he said. "We're dealing with a lot of wetlands and organic soils, but I think we've got a handle on it now."
The site falls within the city's Vine Street CRA and overlay district, and it has an existing Planned Unit Development (PUD). Hussein has applied for a major amendment to the PUD to reduce the entitlement for commercial uses. The application goes to Kissimmee's Development Review Committee in November.
Rick Baldocchi with AVCON said the existing PUD would require 20 percent of the site be developed for commercial uses. That would translate to at least 100,000 square feet of commercial, which isn't feasible given the environmental constraints. If they win approval for the PUD amendment, the developers may look to sell the commercial pads.
Baldocchi is also working with KRDK and Park Square Homes on a proposed 60-unit townhouse complex near Valencia College's East Campus. Hussein said he closed this week on the 8-acre parcel at the northeast corner of S.R. 417 and Valencia Lane, and Baldocchi is putting the finishing touches on a Preliminary Subdivision Plan.
The development team initially sought approvals for 70 units but reduced the ask to 60 units. Orange County Commissioners approved the rezoning to a Planned Development in August.
"To appease the neighbors, we're leaving 40-foot buffers around the property line," Baldocchi said. "We won't touch the vegetation at all for the first 20 feet."