Co-developer & design plans surface for Creative Village's first market rate apts

Bob Moser
GrowthSpotter

Coral Gables-based The Allen Morris Company will co-develop the first market rate apartments in downtown Orlando's Creative Village with Ustler Development, marking its second Class A multifamily venture locally since 2014. 

Located at the southwest corner of Amelia Street and Terry Avenue, the 1.59-acre Parcel M (Lot 3) in the downtown college campus was brought under contract last fall by master developer Creative Village Development, LLC, in which Ustler holds a lead role.

Ustler's co-development partner in the project had remained unnamed until this week. A limited site plan was filed in early July for a site and foundation permit set. 

This week's newly-filed Specific Parcel Master Plan names Allen Morris as co-developer, and includes hardscape and landscape plans, vertical design, architectural details and drawings so they can go before the Creative Village Development Review Committee in September. 

"We have not partnered with them before, but we were seeking out a best-in-class partner for a project of this type and we sought them out," Craig Ustler, president of Ustler Development, told GrowthSpotter via email. "We were extremely impressed with their vision and attention to detail. They do a great job with all of their projects. A 'case study' that we paid particular attention to is the Hermitage Apartments in downtown St. Pete. AMC is an experienced and very financially strong developer, but a 'family company' that is well aligned with the Ustler Group of Companies."  

The 14-story apartment building and its integrated 10-level parking garage will have between 390 and 409 apartments, based on the new project description.

Renderings and elevations submitted were grayscale, but the plans offer some perspective on materials and textures to be used. A glazed aluminum curtain wall and glass will cover some of the building's ground level.

Exterior concrete walls will be partially painted, glass window-wall systems will be on the rooftop and in the swimming pool-area clubroom and the pre-cast garage will be painted. 

Metal artistic panels will run vertically on the garage and east facade to display artwork or graphics. Both a glass wall at the main building entrance and the artistic panels will incorporate lighting. 

"The architecture is strong and we feel like this is a great design that raises the bar for apartment buildings in downtown Orlando," Ustler said.  

Officials with Allen Morris did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday. 

A base program now of 394 apartments is forecast to be broken down as 81 studios, 77 "large studios," 107 one-bedrooms, 104 two-bedrooms and 25 three-bedrooms. That unit count could flex upward to 409 with more studios, and the development team is still refining unit sizes to arrive at a final count, Ustler said.

Approximately 6,500 square feet of ground floor commercial space will be developed as a food and social hall, with an adjacent 8,800-square-foot front porch and patio facing the campus Central Park, and a rear patio or beer garden that opens up onto the building's courtyard of 11,650 square feet. 

Allen Morris' most notable local development in recent years is the mixed-use Maitland City Centre, with 220 apartments that began leasing to residents in May and 35,000 square feet of retail-commercial that is still under construction.

It also owns the Pembrook Commons office building in Maitland and an office building on Universal Boulevard in Orlando's tourism corridor. 

Allen Morris is currently developing the mixed-use Coral Gables City Center with two 17-story buildings, which is being designed by the Winter Park office of Zyscovich Architects

Amenities on the Parcel M apartment building will include a rooftop pool and pool deck, clubroom and terrace overlooking the Central Park, fitness center, business center, co-working space collaboration and study spaces on each residential floor, an interior courtyard and bike storage room. 

The development team is targeting a closing on the land and start to vertical construction this fall, likely in October.

Parcel M will be the first market-rate apartment project at Creative Village, and will follow the mixed-income Amelia Court housing development now under construction, and the 15-story student housing project also under construction, developed by Ustler and DEVEN.

Completion of this market-rate multifamily building is targeted for mid-2020. 

Construction on the adjacent student housing tower had reached nine floors of poured concrete last week, with installation of an integrated parking garage to start this week.

As master developer of Creative Village, Ustler will also help coordinate the development of this building with Mill Creek Residential Trust's future plans for market-rate apartments on nearby Parcel U (1.7 acres).

That will be done to stagger the two buildings from a timing standpoint, and address considerations like the competing unit mix, unit sizes, amenities and architecture.

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

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