Orlando seeking bids to redevelop Clear Lake multifamily site

The City of Orlando is offering nearly 5 acres for sale just south of Camping World Stadium to the right developer who will build mixed-income housing in downtown's Clear Lake neighborhood.

"I think the market is pretty ripe for moving development forward on this site," Orlando's Director of Economic Development Brooke Bonnett told GrowthSpotter.

The city published an invitation for proposals to redevelop the former Colonial Manor, Savoy and Lakeview apartments on Orange Center Boulevard, between S. John Young Parkway and S. Tampa Avenue. The city acquired the vacant 1950s-era apartment buildings last year through a bankruptcy sale for $700,000 and is currently demolishing them at a cost of $331,708.

Although the site is composed of six individual parcels, the city is treating the 4.7 acres as one redevelopment site. It's directly across from LIFT Orlando's Pendana at West Lakes, which has 200 units of mixed-income housing completed and 100 units of affordable senior housing now under construction.

"It abuts a very stable single-family neighborhood to the south, so we want something that compliments the neighborhood," Bonnett said. "We're looking for a high-quality design with the appropriate transition that is complimentary to the new development, as well."

The site is located within one of Orlando's Opportunity Zones, which allows investors to defer taxes on capital gains if they invest in low-income neighborhoods. The successful bidder would also be eligible for up to $1 million in impact fee credits for the infill redevelopment. 

At minimum, the proposal should allow the city to recoup its $1 million investment on the acquisition and demolition of the property. The successful proposal would enhance the neighborhood with high-quality, energy-efficient housing that meets the city's architectural design standards. Strong consideration will be given to bidders that use local contractors and certified minority- and women-owned businesses. 

"It’s to the benefit of the proposer to have as complete and detailed a submittal as possible," Bonnett said.

The property currently has a medium-density residential land use and is zoned for multifamily development with a maximum allowed density of 94 units.

"The density and intensity could differ based on the proposal someone brings forward," Bonnett said. "It could be multifamily, but it also could be townhomes or single family."

Proposals are due Dec. 14. Bonnett said the city will use the same disposition process it used in the past with similar foreclosed properties. The selection committee has invited all firms that submit qualified proposals to make presentations to a selection committee, then the city's Chief Financial Officer would make a recommendation to City Council. 

"We're optimistic the market will yield great responses, and we look forward to reading them and seeing the presentations," Bonnett said.

The solicitation is available on the city website. For more information or to schedule a tour of the site, contact: Clayton Green in the Real Estate Management office. 

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-6261, or tweet me at @LKinslerOGrowth. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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