Texas developer files plans for first residential project in The Packing District

San Antonio-based Embrey Partners has filed a proposed Master Plan with the City of Orlando to build a 310-unit urban midrise apartment building in the heart of The Packing District.

Embrey has a long history in the Orlando market, having developed approximately 5,000 units here in past development cycles.

The MP filing marks a milestone as the first residential project and first major outside private investment in the 212-acre mixed-use district being led by Dr. Phillips Charities. It also follows the announcement earlier this week that the charity would help fund a new YMCA Family Activity Center at the district's Keybank parcel, next to the new Orlando Tennis Center and regional park.

The Embrey apartments would be built on a 4.4-acre site just north of the intersection of U.S. 441/Orange Blossom Trail and Princeton Street. It's bordered on the east by the CSX rail line, which is operated by Pinsley Railroad Co.  

Brad Knolle, executive VP of Embrey, told GrowthSpotter the site's proximity to College Park and access to downtown made the project attractive. The plans for a new YMCA  and park were also key factors in the decision, as well as the opportunity to work with Dr. Phillips Charities. 

Knolle said the 4-story building would be set back far enough from the tracks that noise shouldn't be an issue.

Designed by Humphreys & Partners, the complex would incorporate a 525-space blended parking structure utilizing the firm's trademarked e-Urban format, which lowers construction costs by shortening corridors and replacing a central lobby with four separate lobbies per building to eliminate space waste creating a "private elevator ambiance that is a hit with residents." 

The amenity package would include a pool, fitness center, lounge and courtyards. Embrey expects to break ground early next summer and deliver the project by the end of 2021.

EOS Apartments, built in 2015 near UCF, utilized the same H&P e-Urban design. 

The property is a former site of an industrial warehouse that was built in 1957 and was demolished this year. GAI Consultants performed the civil engineering work, and LandDesign is the landscape architect. 

Dr. Phillips CEO Ken Phillips told GrowthSpotter the corner parcel immediately to the south of the Embrey project is viewed as a primary candidate for a grocery-anchored retail center.

The anchor could front on either Princeton or Orange Blossom Trail, but the idea is that it would have an urban form. "We want to create density directly on the street so you're not looking at a parking lot," he said in October.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-6261, or tweet me at @LKinslerOGrowth. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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