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Banyan Development preps land near Altamonte Springs SunRail for next affordable housing project

An aerial of the site on southeast corner of Merritt Street and Ronald Reagan Boulevard and a conceptual plan of the proposed affordable housing project.
An aerial of the site on southeast corner of Merritt Street and Ronald Reagan Boulevard and a conceptual plan of the proposed affordable housing project. (Seminole County Property Appraiser/Altamonte Springs)

Orlando-based Banyan Development Group wants to grow its portfolio of properties in Central Florida.

According to recently submitted plans, the developer is seeking to annex about 3.6 acres of land in Seminole County into the city of Altamonte Springs for a new transit-oriented development within walking distance of the city’s SunRail station.

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The property is located on the southeast corner of Merritt Street and Ronald Reagan Boulevard. There, the developer wants to build a new transit-oriented multifamily community with up to 120 affordable/workforce housing units.

A conceptual plan for the proposed development shows the rental complex will feature a parking garage, single-story clubhouse and two courtyard areas. Buildings reach up to three stories in height.

The project would be the first of its kind in downtown’s urban core reserving more than 75 percent of its 138 units for low-income and very low-income households.

Of the total 120 units, 48 will be one-bedroom apartments, while the remaining 72 will be two-bedroom units.

The development sits less than a quarter-mile north of the Altamonte Springs SunRail station, located near the intersection of Altamonte Drive (S.R. 436) and Ronald Reagan Boulevard.

If the developer pursues Low Income Housing Tax Credits to help fund the project, the property’s proximity to a commuter rail line could better position the company to receive credits.

In addition to the annexation, BDG is also seeking to rezone the property and change its land use to allow for multifamily uses. If successful, the property’s Future Land Use Map could be amended to an East Town Center designation.

The subject property lies in the EDO District, one of three city-established activity centers within 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.

The property is currently vacant and owned by Sammno Inc., led by Maitland-based attorney Jim Panico. Records show the company paid $250,000 for the property in 1999. It borders several single-family homes just south of the site.

Alexander Kiss, a managing partner with BDG, told GrowthSpotter the plan is to develop affordable/workforce housing that will not be age-restricted, though that can be subject to change.

A conceptual site plan for the proposed project.
A conceptual site plan for the proposed project. (Altamonte Springs)

The conceptual plan has already been approved by city, he said. Forum Architecture & Interior Design is the architect. DRMP is the civil engineer.

BDG has funded, completed and fully leased several affordable housing developments throughout the state.

Earlier this year, it won rezoning approvals from the city of Orlando that will allow it to move forward with a 138-unit senior housing project near Orlando’s Packing District neighborhood, called Fern Grove.

It’s also in the midst of planning a 13-story affordable housing building in downtown Orlando.

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The project, called Mariposa Grove, would be the first of its kind in downtown’s urban core by reserving more than 75 percent of its 138 units for low-income and very low-income households.

The Banyan project is the second SunRail-adjacent affordable housing project announced this year. Osceola County is currently seeking proposals for a developer to build 400 units of affordable housing near the Poinciana station.

Picerne Real Estate Group and Epoch Residential have both completed market rate TOD communities in the Seminole County cities of Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary and Maitland.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at arabines@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-5427, or tweet me at @amanda_rabines. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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