Central Florida’s commuter train continues to pick up multifamily development at its 16 stops between Debary and Poinciana.
The latest plan to emerge involves land across the street from the SunRail station in Altamonte Springs. A Boston-based investment company has submitted a pre-application request to the city to discuss with staff the possibility of building an apartment community on the site next to City Hall.
While official site plans have yet to be filed to the city for this project, City Manager Frank Martz II told GrowthSpotter the proposal calls for between 300 and 330 units on 13 acres of land owned by a phone company.
The property at 942 1st Street, along the west side of Ronald Reagan Boulevard and north of State Road 436, currently has a zoning designation of MIO-2, reserved for a regional business center.
Changes to the land-use code would be required to allow a multifamily project.
“It requires rezoning and everything,” Martz said. “It’s a long way away. There have been preliminary discussions between the developer and the city for a market-rate apartment complex. We call it the Sprint property although Sprint doesn’t exist anymore. It’s now owned by CenturyLink and it had been used as a training facility for decades. They have consolidated and are now selling this property.”
According to agenda materials on the city’s website, the applicant for the multifamily project is Muirfield Investment Partners, led by Stephen Colamarino.
He could not be reached for comment. His LinkedIn page describes the company as a private equity real estate investment firm headquartered in Boston, MA.
It’s unclear which company would be developing the project if it moves forward. The property owner’s representative, Kimberly Sweatt, also could not be reached Monday.
This is one of two apartment projects in the pipeline near the SunRail station in Altamonte Springs. Just north of the station, along the track, Orlando-based Banyan Development Group is planning to build a community with 120 affordable/workforce housing units at the southeast corner of Merritt Street and Ronald Reagan Boulevard.
Development is sprouting up near SunRail stations across the entire 49-mile transit system.
The property is part of the approved Osceola Corporate Center Planned Development, which was redesigned by Tupperware to complement the new transit service. Tupperware sold the 37-acre station area, along with all of its land assets, to O’Connor Capital Partners in 2019 for $87 million.
The master plan calls for up to 1,700 multifamily residential units, 180,000 square feet of retail, a 120-room hotel and 60,000 square feet of office space.
At Sanford’s SunRail station, Miami-based Archway Partners broke ground last week on an 80-unit transit-oriented multifamily community. Here, rentals will be set aside for residents ages 55 and older who make less than 60% of the Area’s Median Income (AMI).
Monroe Place will feature ground floor amenities, including a community center/event space. Outdoor recreational features include a bocce ball court, a large gazebo, and shaded sit-down areas for residents.
Brett Green, the company’s founder and president, said he expects construction to wrap by the summer of 2023.
“We are absolutely excited for this project,” he said. “We’ve been working on it for quite some time. It’s in close proximity to everything else that’s going. You’re less than a quarter mile away from SunRail. That allows residents to travel anywhere along the I-4 corridor without having to use a vehicle. Particularly for seniors who may not want to drive it’s a great opportunity for them to be able to access some other areas outside of where they live a short walk away.”
Within walking distance of the station in Meadow Woods, Altamonte Springs-based LeCesse Development Corporation is preparing to place 280 apartment units.
In May, the developer and its partner, apartment management company Cambridge Management Services, filed an application to Orange County seeking a land-use change for 10 acres in the middle of an unfinished commercial center within the Southchase community.
At Poinciana’s SunRail stop, Birdsong Housing Partners is building an apartment community with 354 units of workforce housing called Falcon Trace II. Meanwhile, Osceala County is seeking buyers for other parcels of land around this station.
Both projects planned for Atlamonte Springs’ SunRail station lie within the city’s EDO District, one of three city-established activity centers in the East Town Center FLUM.
The EDO District is defined as the areas around the SunRail station in which redevelopment will be focused to create walkable designs and increase a so-called jobs-to-housing balance. Other guidelines include providing a neighborhood buffer line to protect existing residential areas.
Amid growth around SunRail, the city was recently awarded a three-year operating grant from the Florida Department of Transportation to launch an autonomous vehicle program that will carry people to Uptown Altamonte, the SunRail commuter station, AdventHealth Altamonte Springs and the Altamonte Mall.
Martz said the program will start in the next six months.
“This will allow people better access to jobs,” Martz said.
The city, in 2018, put out offers to sell its City Hall and municipal complex for redevelopment as a modern mixed-use complex that would support the neighboring SunRail station.
The city’s municipal complex currently includes a law enforcement center, county fire station and City Hall. Built between 1972 and 1984, the buildings are facing “physical and functional obsolescence,” per the RFP submitted that year.
Those plans for redevelopment were halted due to COVID, Martz said.
According to the proposed site plan, the developer is seeking to build a 5-story apartment building and adjacent 5-story parking garage on the northern end of the property. The first level of the parking garage will accommodate guests, while the upper levels will need gate key access.