Developer plans 300 apts on Orange Lake land west of Disney, GC/architect sought

Windermere-based multifamily developer Deion R. Lowery has more than 129 acres under contract from Orange Lake Resorts south of Disney World's growing Flamingo Crossings district, with plans for 300 Class A apartments to serve theme park staff. 

Located on the western side of Lake Britt at its mid-point and on the northern side of a future Hartzog Road realignment, roughly 27.6 acres will be developed within the 129.7 acres due to wetland protections, identified in a Development Plan filed Friday with Orange County. The developer is asking for the option to convert the community to short-term rental in the future. 

"This is at Disney's (western) back gate, which as you know is an area poised for a very high growth cycle," Lowery told GrowthSpotter on Monday. "We're hoping to serve a lot of mid-level Disney employees." 

The site also lies southwest of 154 acres of Disney-owned property that the theme park company had rezoned last year, preparing it for 1,300 student apartments for its college intern program and 150,000 square feet of commercial. 

Lowery and partners have the land under contract, but have not gone hard on a deposit yet. The purchase could close some time in the fourth quarter, with $55 million to $60 million to be invested in the project overall, he said.  

Lowery's affiliate general contractor Parramore Development & Construction LLC is typically hired to build his group's projects, but the team is open to considering other bids for this Flamingo-area development. 

The developer has yet to hire an architect, but should do so soon and is working with Forum Architecture & Interior Design and Charlan Brock Associates on two other projects, Lowery said. 

The property is owned by Orange Lake Country Club, Inc., affiliate of Orange Lake Resorts, which has more than 300 acres of undeveloped land that it has walked through land use changes since 2015 in anticipation of eventual sale.  

Dubbed "Serenity at Flamingo Crossings," the development would include 30 two-story buildings of about 10 units each with Spanish tile roofing. The 300 units would be divvied up between 60 one-bedrooms, 120 two-bedrooms and 120 three-bedrooms, and parking would include the required 570 spaces between surface and private unit garages. 

Lowery and partners specialize in pursuing HUD section 221(d)4 construction loans, with a development focus on conventional market rate and affordable multifamily. 

"On the (Flamingo Crossings-area) project, we would raise our own equity and then do the HUD 221(d)4 program again, which is an 85 percent loan-to-value ratio, with 40-year amortization and fixed interest," he said. 

Orange Lake Resorts will be responsible for building the realigned extension of Hartzog Road to give access to this property, infrastructure that has already been approved by the county. 

Lowery's group is also developing Portofino at ChampionsGate, a Class A 120-unit multifamily project under construction now that should be open in a few months. 

Winter Garden-based June Engineering Consultants is civil engineer on the project, Bishman Surveying & Mapping is the surveyor, and Bio-Tech Consulting is environmental consultant. 

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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