Multi-Family Residential Developments

Wood Partners files new apts plan for Darden land on John Young Pkwy

Elevation of the proposed Grande Lakes III apartments at the western side of John Young and Central Florida parkways.

National multifamily developer Wood Partners filed plans Thursday for its second new apartment complex on John Young Parkway east of Orlando's tourism corridor, following through on Darden Corporation land it has had under contract since early this year.

The company filed a Development Plan for 328 units on 15.3 acres set along the western side of John Young Parkway, north of Central Florida Parkway.


A Wood Partners contract on the Darden land was first reported here in early January. Officials with the developer declined to comment on Thursday.

Dubbed "Grande Lakes III," the new DP calls for seven apartment buildings of four floors with 168 one-bedroom units and 160 two- and three-bedrooms all surrounding two stormwater retention ponds in the property's center. Amenities include a central clubhouse and swimming pool, with parking a mix of surface and covered garage.


The property is neighbored to the south by the Ritz Carlton & JW Marriott Grande Lakes Resort, and to the east by a Wawa, car wash and growing retail development.

The deal would be Wood's second new apartment project in that immediate area of John Young and Central Florida parkways in the past two years.

The developer broke ground in May 2017 on the 314-unit Alta Grande apartments, set off the northeast corner of the two parkways' intersection. Leasing started for that property this past spring.

This new DP by Wood Partners does not include additional Darden land (4.68 acres) directly north of the site, which was part of its original pre-app discussion in January. The plans required a Land Use Plan amendment to convert permitted uses to multifamily.

Wood's Bryan Borland, director for North Florida, said here in August 2016 the company was drawn to the site's proximity to job drivers in the tourism corridor, one of the region's largest suburban office markets along John Young Parkway, Orlando's only Fortune 500 company headquarters in Darden, and the market's largest luxury hotel complex in Grande Lakes Resort.

KCG is civil engineer on the new plans, Charlan Brock & Associates is the architect, and the company's own Wood Florida Builders has traditionally served as general contractor.

The Orlando apartment market is experiencing a dramatic shift in demand to the southern half of the metro area, Daryl Spradley, senior vice president with Charles Wayne Consulting, said here in early May.

New multifamily along John Young Parkway comes in direct response to successful apartment development in recent years from the southern end of International Drive, migrating northward.


Lockheed Martin's office expansion at its nearby Missile and Fire Control plant may only add a planned 500 new jobs to the immediate area, but is a major boost for the submarket, said Spradley, because it represents a higher-income segment of jobs in sharp contrast to what the tourism corridor produces.

And Universal Orlando's ever-evolving plans for more than 578 acres east of Universal Boulevard will be "one of the largest announcements we've seen since Medical City, in terms of potential impact on economics in the area," he added.

"More than 20,000 people are employed at Universal Orlando, they have the opportunity to double or triple the size of their theme park base and that will translate to significant new jobs," Spradley said.

Estimated new job growth for the Orlando metro in 2018 equates to demand for 7,500 new apartment units in the market this year, or one new apartment for every six new jobs expected, per Charles Wayne Consulting.

Nearly 175,000 jobs are estimated within a five-mile radius of the Interstate 4 and S.R. 528 (Beachline Expressway) intersection, said Spradley, driving demand for apartments in the I-4 corridor.

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