South Florida developer eyes Kissimmee site for new apartment complex

South Florida-based Paragon Group has proposed building apartments on the former 11th and 12th holes of the closed Buenaventura Lakes West golf course in Kissimmee.

Paragon/Granada Development has a contract to buy the 14-acre site from Iglesia Cristiana Renuevo. The property abuts a 3.6-acre parcel that has been targeted by the church for an age-restricted apartment building for elderly members of its Spanish-speaking congregation.

Both projects would require an amendment to the BVL Planned Development to allow multifamily housing. 

President Luis Gonzalez met last week with Osceola County's Development Review Committee to discuss the concept, which would call for 216 to 240 garden-style rental units in three-story buildings. He wanted to confirm that the county would support a request for an entrance directly off Osceola Parkway.

He included a detailed project narrative for the 14-acre site.

"The site plan envisions buildings located along the property and incorporating lush landscaping and walkways throughout in order to create a park-like atmosphere," he wrote. 

Paragon has developed more than 5,000 apartment and condominium units, mostly in South Florida. Gonzalez said the company is particular about site selection and chooses properties that are strategically located with access to public transportation, major job centers, highways and schools.

He told GrowthSpotter he was drawn to the BVL site because the proximity to Florida's Turnpike makes it ideal for market-rate workforce housing.

"Our most recent project was a condo project, but over the course of my career I've mostly specialized in garden-style workforce housing," Gonzalez said. "It may be Class A but not Class A-plus like what you see being developed now with the extensive amenity package. It's not going to be a four-story product with internal corridors."

Units would be outfitted with custom cabinets, granite counters, wood-style flooring and stainless steel appliances, he said.  And the community would have modern amenities, such as a clubhouse, resort pool, outdoor kitchen and dog park. 

"There's a brand new L.A. Fitness being built in the (neighboring shopping) center," Gonzalez said. "So I might try to negotiate a discount for our tenants. We would still have a fitness center, but maybe not go over the top if we could find a better use for that space."

Paragon is in the process of hiring a local engineering firm and will be looking to hire an architecture firm with experience in the market. 

"I'm a big believer in hiring locally," Gonzalez said. "We will be interviewing several firms that have been active in Osceola County."

Gonzalez said Paragon and the church are probably 45 to 60 days from submitting the PD amendment. 

"We have to do a bunch of engineering work before we can submit," he said. "There's no survey on the property, so we need to sit with our architects and engineers to see what we can fit on the site."

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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