Tavistock Development Company has filed a concept plan revealing new details about the first development phase of its massive Sunbridge community in Osceola County.
The first major takeaway from the revised Master Plan is a significant reduction in the number of homes proposed in the early phases. Osceola County's Northeast District Plan projected nearly 6,000 residential units for that portion of the district. This updated plan reduces that number by more than 1,100 units.
"There is a difference in total dwelling units. It's not because we're doing lower density -- it's because we have less land," explained Richard Levey, a Tavistock consultant who has worked on Sunbridge's entitlements planning.
The new projection is based on more detailed mapping of wetlands, drainage needs and changes to the road network. All of those changes forced Tavistock to eliminate nearly 200 acres of net developable land.
The entire Sunbridge project spans two counties and covers more than 24,000 acres of Mormon Church ranch land. Tavistock won approval in December for a Comprehensive Plan amendment on the 4,787 acres in Orange. But the size and scope of the Osceola portion (19,000-plus acres) necessitated more time.
Levey said the timetable calls for construction on major roadways and the first residential neighborhood to be completed in Second Quarter 2019. That's a year behind the Orange County schedule, which coincides with the opening of the Sunbridge Parkway interchange with S.R. 528 next year.
The Osceola portion in the county's Northeast District is approved for mixed-use development. Tavistock applied for a Comprehensive Plan amendment and Planned Development rezoning last Fall, and Levey said he has been meeting with county planners since December to reach consensus on an approach for implementing the plan.
"The concept plan is a more detailed master plan, showing neighborhood structure, employment center, place types and roadway networks," he said.
The developer has more detailed information today than the county had in 2010 when it adopted the NE District plan. Some of those changes include major new highways, such as the Osceola Parkway Extension (OPE) and the Northeast Expressway.
Tavistock also added the north-south Sunbridge Parkway, a four-lane road that will connect the community to its sister project in Orange County and a realigned Rummell Road, Levey said.
The revised road framework led the developer to make other changes in the master plan. Tavistock replaced the employment center that stretched along Cyrils Drive with community centers that combine commercial, multifamily and office uses. The employment center was shifted east, to the intersection of Sunbridge Parkway and Cyrils Drive.
"So the shape of these districts changes because we're trying to capitalize on that intersection as a major focus of the first phase of the project," Levey said. "Our proposal is not a shift in policy from the county's adopted plan. It's an adaptation of that policy."
The concept plan also changes the entitlements for commercial, office and industrial space. It adds about 85,000 square feet of commercial space while reducing the proposed office space by nearly 100,000 square feet; and it eliminates all industrial uses, projected at 649,506 square feet in the comprehensive plan.
"We felt that portion of the project was not the best location for warehousing, distribution and truck activity," Levey said. "We did account for the number of jobs in that special district. We actually have more jobs in our concept than was anticipated in the same land area in the original plan -- but they're in the service and office sector."
The plan projects 11,950 cumulative total jobs created, compared to 9,960 in the county plan. That's due largely to a higher employee density in the office sector, and growth in the number of workers who telecommute.
"We build office buildings in Lake Nona, and this is a trend we're seeing," Levey said.
The anticipated number of hotel rooms drops from 680 to 450, partly because a 2.3-acre hotel site was among the parcels moved out of the development program to accommodate stormwater and road infrastructure.
The concept plan identifies two elementary school sites -- the first would be located in Neighborhood A/B north of Cyrils -- and a regional park site on Sunbridge Parkway.
"There will be ongoing dialogue with the school board regarding timing and location of schools," Levey said. "It's going to be a large community, so eventually it will have a high school. There is some age-restricted portion of the community as well, so that will factor into the school discussion."
Levey said Tavistock is open to discussions with the county and school district for co-locating school, park and library facilities. "We've done that in Lake Nona, and we would welcome that opportunity at Sunbridge," he said.
The community will feature a variety of housing types, products and lot sizes, and all will be designed to be within a five minute walk of Sunbridge's extensive trail network.
"We have this concept of the home as a trail head," Levey said. "We're perfecting that in Orange and we have similar plans in Osceola."