Winter Park-based affordable housing specialist American Residential Development LLC (ARD) is proposing two age-restricted apartment towers in central Orange County, coming on the heels of a planned groundbreaking this month on its second such building in Kissimmee.
To be located at 1701 W. Oak Ridge Road, on the northwest corner of an intersection with Rio Grande Avenue, the developer is eyeing 5.4 vacant acres within a 9.32-acre parcel, the balance of which is occupied by a small retail center fronting Oak Ridge.
Dubbed "Madison Landing," the development would include two affordable senior apartment buildings with a total of 90 units, each seven stories with 85,000 square feet under roof.
Patrick E. Law, a principal with Magnolia Advisors, is managing member of ARD. He has developed similar projects in Kissimmee, Tampa, Spring Hill and Ormond Beach, all with the "Madison" name.
The company's first and second Madison Crossing towers in Kissimmee were approved for tax credit financing from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, a financing model followed for its developments.
Working on behalf of ARD is construction consultant Stacy Banach, who applied for a variance in the R-3 zoning district to permit two multifamily structures with a height of 72 feet, in lieu of 35 feet. The developer is in the process of amending the Future Land Use designation and zoning of the property to allow for the multifamily project.
The request is scheduled to go before the Board of Zoning Adjustment on Dec. 1. It had originally been set for Nov. 3, but was delayed on Wednesday by county staff, after realizing that state law prohibits local governments from approving development orders (including variances) that are inconsistent with its Comprehensive Plan.
A height variance for these apartment buildings wouldn't be consistent with the Comp Plan, because the Future Land Use Map is still designated Commercial for this property. Staff have to wait for Nov. 15 to see if County Commissioners approve a Comp Plan change from Commercial to Multifamily, and a rezoning to R-3 for the property.
Land to the north is all zoned R-3 as well, with a cluster of vacant parcels, some of which are owned by First Baptist Church. To the east across S. Rio Grande Drive are existing apartments, to the west is a public storage business, and to the south is the Beerbowers' retail center.
Approval of the height exemption will be the final step required for the proposed development to meet the overall zoning requirements of the county, and will help the county meet its goals for the Comp Plan by allowing for growth of high-density multifamily housing in the urban service area, Banach wrote in an application to the BZA.
Banach and officials from ARD did not respond to requests for comment for this story.