Senior Living Developments

Developer planning affordable housing for seniors on Judge Drive

Banyan Development has filed plans for a $26.5 million affordable housing apartment building for seniors.

Orlando-based Banyan Development has filed plans with City of Orlando for a 130-unit affordable housing complex for seniors on W.D. Judge Drive, just west of John Young Parkway.

Banyan co-founder Alex Kiss told GrowthSpotter the $26.5 million project would be called Fern Grove. Banyan has a purchase contract on the 6.6-acre site and has the project divided into two phases. Early conceptual plans for Phase 1 calls for a 4-story, U-shaped building with a equal number of 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom units.


“It’s sort of a New Urbanist design because the building is near the street but is oriented toward the conservation area on the south,” Kiss said.

Banyan has previously eyed an 11-acre assemblage on West Colonial Drive for a mix of affordable family and senior housing, but the developer has not closed on that site. Kiss said they switched their attention to the Judge Drive property and expect to apply for a State Apartment Incentive Loan, known as SAIL financing, later this year.

Banyan Development's Fern Grove would be a single 4-story, U-shaped apartment building with an equal number of 1-BR and 2-BR units.

“It’s in the city, and the city is very supportive,” he said, noting that city leaders are trying to address Orlando’s affordable housing shortage.

Banyan has enlisted GAI Consultants as planner, engineer and landscape architect. Fugleberg Koch is the building architect. Kiss said the site has a Lynx bus stop right in front. The developer has applied for future land use and zoning changes to allow for medium-density residential development and is seeking a conditional use permit and Master Plan approval.

Banyan formed in 2016, a partnership by affordable housing consultants Jeff and Alex Kiss of Winter Park-based Kiss & Company, Inc., with multifamily owner-operators Lou Vogt and Scott Zimmerman of Orlando’s AGPM, LLC.

All AGPM managed communities, offer resident services from The Tree House Foundation which will meet the needs of AGPM residents by providing necessary social services to promote a more holistic approach to self-sufficiency to all residents at no charge. Those services could include financial counseling, health seminars, computer and internet access, and food assistance.

The location will be convenient to the new College Park YMCA Family Center planned in The Packing District. Dr. Phillips Charities has pledged $8.9 million toward the construction of the Y, which will help anchor the new regional park at Princeton and Texas avenues.

“We’re looking forward to The Packing District and all that Dr. Phillips is bringing to the area,” Kiss said. “We think Fern Grove will be a perfect addition to the area.”

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