UPDATED: December 15, 2017 3:24 PM — Atlanta-based developer Tramell Crow Residential (TCR) paid $9.4 million this week for 6.97 acres near Downtown Orlando on the Calvary Assembly of God property, with plans made public in September for a 310-unit apartment complex and improvements to adjacent streets.
It's the first of two portions of excess parking area within the church's roughly 40 acres that it intends to sell in the next year to developers, to help capitalize Calvary's own plans to acquire a new building and open a multifaceted outreach center.
The deed was signed Wednesday and recorded Friday morning in Orange County.
To be based on the southwest corner of Clay Street and Harmon Avenue, TCR's site under contract makes up 400 spaces of the church's current parking lot.
The buyer entity, DRI/Maple Winter Park, LLC, is managed out of Tramell Crow's Atlanta office but involves an undisclosed minority stake from local developer Joshua Yablon's Winter Park Property Development LLC.
"The buyer came through (Yablon)," said Scott Taylor of Florida Premier Realty Group, listing agent for the church's property. "We had wonderful support from the Orwin Westminster Association, which is like 370 homes nearby. It's unusual for a neighborhood association like that to support a developer so early, but I worked tirelessly with them to garner their support from start to finish. There was no opposition for the site plan's MPB hearing."
Calvary Assembly extensively remodeled its church in the past two years to upgrade the facility throughout, and reduce its seat count from 5,500 to 4,000 to accommodate a shrinking congregation. That drop in seating resulted in about 500 unnecessary parking spaces.
The church began taking steps in Summer 2016 to prepare its property for portioned sale, filing a Framework Master Plan with the city of Orlando to allow for new commercial uses like hospitality, multifamily and assisted living.
Yablon's company has Calvary Assembly's last portion of property under contract for purchase, roughly 3 acres on the north end that is now a maintenance yard and 100 parking spaces.
An assisted living facility was the original development prospect for that site, but Yablon told GrowthSpotter on Friday he remains in talks with potential development partners for the land, and is considering all residential and commercial uses.
Dubbed "Alexan North End," TCR's new urban apartment building would stand four stories with structured parking (466 spaces), 63 surface parking spaces, and amenities that include a swimming pool and courtyard area, business center, club room, fitness and yoga centers, and co-working space.
The 310-unit count would break down as 63 studio apartments, 143 one-bedrooms, 95 two-bedrooms and nine three-bedrooms, per plans filed with the city.
TCR will redevelop Pinehurst Avenue with on-street parking and a five foot-wide sidewalk down its east side to Par Street. Jewell Avenue would be reconstructed as a paved road with a new cul-de-sac for cars only, a separate two-unit townhome building would be placed on Jewell with off-street parking and garage units with tandem parking, a private lift station will be installed on Jewell Avenue for the entire development, and Harmon Avenue will be reconstructed and extended to intersect with Pinehurst Avenue and include on-street parking.
For Calvary Assembly, the sale of this excess land at its church campus is freeing up capital for a new outreach center, for which it is still scouring the commercial property market, Pastor Edward Garvin told GrowthSpotter on Friday.
The church had a 70,000-square-foot strip retail center under contract in northern Orlando in recent months, but walked away recently during its due diligence period, he said.
The non-profit is now starting its search anew for a commercial building of 50,000 to 80,000 square feet, ideally with revenue-producing tenants, in any area of Orlando that "services the under-served well," Garvin said.
Calvary Assembly's plan is to transform an acquired building into a low-cost or no-cost outreach center for healthcare and grocery services for the poverty-stricken, and after-school programs.