Hundreds of residents will already live within walking distance of the new Tupperware SunRail station in 2017 when the first train pulls in.
Thomas Roehlk, executive vice president for Tupperware Brands, said the company sold 13.4 acres last Friday for $2.65 million to a Winter Park developer who will build 176 units of affordable housing.
Roehlk announced the sale during the signing ceremony for the Phase 2 extension of SunRail. The developer is Osceola Pointe Partners, which already has received county approval for a preliminary site plan.
In addition, Roehlk told GrowthSpotter the company has another 26-acre parcel just north of the county line in Orange County under contract with a developer who is planning 200 housing units. "We have another 300 units under negotiation," he said.
"You've heard the phrase build it and they will come," he said. "We haven't even built anything yet, and they're coming. So by the time SunRail phase 2 goes into operation, we think we will have substantial developments in place."
Tupperware Brands, which controls 150 acres straddling Orange and Osceola counties, donated the 10-acre site for the SunRail station and entered into a station enhancement agreement "to make the station look a little better than it otherwise would have."
The company's site plan includes entitlements for 1.8 million square feet of commercial space with a 2:1 office to retail ratio. "We are also contemplating 1,200 units of multifamily residential," he said.
The expansion to the south is pegged to cost $186.9 million, with federal funding covering 50 percent and local and state funds each contributing 25 percent. Federal Transit Administrator Therese McMillan officially committed $93.4 million to the project.
"Make no mistake - SunRail is much more than just an occasional convenience," she said. "In the years to come, it will increasingly become an integral part of everyday life in the communities it serves. As more mixed use development spring up around the corridor, ridership will grow, spurring greater demand."
SunRail already has 12 stations running 32 miles from DeBary in Volusia County to Orlando, a system that opened on May 1, 2014.
The 17.2-mile extension will run from the existing Sand Lake Road Station in Orlando to Poinciana in Osceola, with stops along the way at Meadow Woods, Tupperware, and Kissimmee/Amtrack.